Archive for the ‘House and Home’ category

Too Old For This

November 20, 2011

When I was a teenager, I remember staying up until 2 or 3 a.m. with no problem. OK, so I would sleep in until noon the next day, but that’s beside the point. These days, 10 p.m. rolls around and I am heavy-lidded and ready for bed. And it doesn’t seem to matter what time I go to bed, I’m always up between 7 and 8 a.m.

Last night Greg & I went to some friends house for dinner and games. By 9 p.m., I seriously could have gone to bed. MAYBE going to the new Twilight movie premier at 12:10 a.m. two nights before had something to do with my exhaustion. MAYBE the fact that 3 hours of sleep followed by a full 8 hour work day was a contributing factor. MAYBE the fact that I’m just not as young as I used to be is relevant. MAYBE having kids vomiting in the middle of the night earlier that week played a part. Needless to say, it’s been a rough week in the sleep department.

The movie was silly, but the pre-party and get-together with friends was definitely a fun time and almost made it worth it. But I must admit that I’m relieved that there is only 1 more movie to go, because these ridiculously late nights are going to kill me. I’ve only missed 1 premier, and that was because I had surgery on my shoulder that same day. I’m all for vampires, werewolves, completely implausible plot lines and bad hair, but come on… I’m too old for this crap!

We ended up sleeping at our friends house last night (they live about 25 min. away and both Greg and I were so tired that crashing at their place seemed like a better option than the drive home). Air mattresses are better than a hard floor, but not by much. I went straight back to bed when we walked in the door at 8 a.m. this morning, and woke up at 11. That additional 3 hours made all of the difference. I feel caught up on my zzzz’s, and I’m ready to begin another week.

I’m gearing up for our annual Thanksgiving trip to St. George… lots to do to get the kids, house, and myself ready, but a few days off from work, helping kids with homework, and early mornings is definitely something I’m looking forward to. What are YOUR plans for this next week?

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Show Me The Money

October 8, 2011

Have you ever heard the saying about how it doesn’t matter how much money people make, they always spend what they have? What about it doesn’t matter how much money you have, it’s never enough.

True? Maybe, maybe not. But it does seem like for many, spending rises as fast, or faster, than the money comes in. Sure, you make more, realize maybe you can buy some of those things which you wanted but felt like you couldn’t afford, and you can never really get ahead. Helloooo… highest foreclosure rates ever in the history of this country! Personally, I think this country has become a slave to their stuff.

But that is neither hear nor there. This post isn’t about the shit show the U.S. economy has become. It’s about asking the question: how do you get to the point where what you have is enough. Because for many of us, we never reach that point.

I have friends that span a huge gamut in terms of income. Some live very modest lifestyles… living paycheck to paycheck, getting by and surviving, but barely. I also have friends who have a monthly income that is comparable to a typical family’s yearly gross. The funny thing is, many of these people also live paycheck to paycheck, and what would seem like a fortune to others is barely enough for them to pay all of their many bills.

What I have also noticed when I look at all of these people is that it doesn’t matter what kind of money they bring in, everyone has problems. Money doesn’t buy happiness, securing, fidelity, love, or respect. Getting that $400 raise each month doesn’t “save” the struggling family and solve all of their problems. You can live in a mansion or a shack because misery isn’t biased.

Finding the niche where you are content with what you have, comfortable in your own skin, in healthy relationships… I think that’s the only way for any resemblance of happiness.

Of course, I am no exception to the rule. More times than I’d like to admit, the thought goes through my head that if only we had a little bit more money, then (fill in the blank) . While I’m not sure if that will ever change, I often remind myself of how incredibly lucky and blessed me and my family are. That reality check helps to keep me grounded. We have a nice home, clothes in the closet, can enroll our kids in various extra-curricular activities, food in the fridge & pantry, cars that get us where we need to go, a vacation to Disneyland last Christmas, and have the luxury of going out to dinner and a movie every once in a while.

Do I wish we had “more”? Sure! However, I do know that we have enough. And I am proud that we have very little debt, no credit cards (I never have owned one), and pull our heads out of the clouds every once in a while to keep a realistic perspective. And that is a true feeling of freedom and happiness.

Oodles of Changes

August 22, 2011

This past week has been a full one, and life is going to be changing around here.

First, our 9-year-old girls have been bugging us for quite some time about sharing a room. My twins, Emma & Cooper, have been sharing a room for about a year, and while it’s been fine, in the back of my mind I’ve known that it would be short-lived. As much as they love each other, I think that at some point a brother and sister have to go their separate ways when it comes to the living arrangement. And really it made sense for the girls to room together. Not only are they the same age, but they almost never fight and they like the same things. Greg & I told them it would happen, but hadn’t really made any plans or preparations for the move. Last week I just sort of started the process one day, and 24 hours later, we had switched Alex & Cooper. Alex & Emma are now roomies, and for the first time since moving into this house, Cooper has a room of his own. Everyone seems pretty happy with the new arrangement.

All of this room swapping made me realize that we can never move. The sheer amount of crap that these kids have is overwhelming, and it’s only a fraction what is in the house. Guess we’re here to stay.

I’ve also been really busy with work. I’ve got a buyer who I’ve been working with for over a year and who this last week put an offer in on a house. It’s kept me really busy, but it feels good to be on the front line of negotiating a deal and seeing this through. Also on the “work front”, which is typically slow for me, I was offered a part-time job working with my real estate broker (already kind of my boss), assisting him with his other business. After Mr. N & I married, I put my real estate-ing on the back burner and focused solely on my family. Getting semi-back into a working state of mind is exciting and also a little scary. Luckily it’s only a few days a week and will be somewhat flexible around my schedule. There are still a lot of details to be worked out, but it will be interesting to see how this all unfolds.

Last but not least, today was the first day of school for the older kids (Kindergarten doesn’t start until next week). I cannot believe I have a child in 6th grade! I remember sending him to his first day of preschool, and it doesn’t seem that long ago. Now my babies are in 3rd grade, and my step-daughter, who I started caring for every day when she was only two, is starting school as well. My how the time does fly!

This summer has honestly been the best since becoming a parent, and I’m oddly sad to see it end. Most years I’ve been ready to have the kids start school and out of my hair for half the day. But I’ve enjoyed having them home for the past 2 months, and I’m not sure that I’m ready for the early mornings, days filled with volunteering, and hours of homework at night. UGH! But it will be nice to get back into our routine and have a schedule. I’m also pretty sure that their brains deteriorated over the summer, so getting a little cranial exercise will be good for them. I hope they all love their teachers and give their best efforts this year. If we could only get them to smile even slightly naturally. It’s the truest  evidence that they are getting older… they are too cool to smile :).

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FIRE!

August 16, 2011

There was a touch of excitement this weekend when Corner Canyon, which is a few miles south of our home, caught fire. The smoke smell and ash falling from the sky led us to go for a little exploratory drive. Here’s what we saw:

What’s more exciting and entertaining than flames! That’s what I call a Saturday night. From what I know, there was no damage, even though the flames came within feet of people’s homes, and the smoke in the sky made for an amazing sunset!

E.P.I.C.

July 25, 2011

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“Epic”. That seemed to be the word of the weekend, at least coming from the kids mouths.

I’m not sure how “epic” it truly was (or why that seems to be new, choice word, kind of like “rad”, “sweet”, and “killer” was), but based on what I saw, I think the kiddos had a wonderful time.

Friday, after our afternoon swimming at Maree’s house, Ian & Emma had friends over to spend the night. For the first time this year, we pulled out the tent and let the kids sleep outside. Which is also what happened the next 2 nights as well, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Poor Cooper has been the odd one out when it comes to friends and sleepovers as of late. The other two have friends that are also siblings, so when one wants to play, it only makes sense that the other come along. Luckily a boy just Cooper’s age has moved in to the house that we share a back yard with, and this new friend was over pretty much every day this weekend. Yahoo! There were a few times that we had 9 kids running around, and while it got a little crazy at times, it was fun watching all of my kids play.

I did have a revelation at one point. Don’t get me wrong… I like kids. That being said, at times I do have my limits when it comes to chaos and noise, but I never did reach it. And I realized that we are becoming that house. The house where all of the kids come to play. Thinking back, I think that my parents had the same thing going on… a home in which we always knew we could bring our friends and they would be welcome. A home in which we could have sleepovers, be loud, and not get in trouble.

I think it will be good to have our house be a kid “hub”. I like knowing where my kids are at and what they are doing, and if that means that it looks sort of like a day care at times, so be it.

Saturday afternoon we pulled out the big, inflatable water slide, and all of the kids had a blast trying to kill themselves and each other on it. At one point Cooper’s lip met the head of his friend, and mouthfuls of blood and a few tears later, he was left with a seriously deep gash on the inside of his lip (check out the pictures). I did call the dr. office, unsure if it would require stitches, but was told they didn’t stitch the inside of mouths and we were both happy that this injury wouldn’t require a visit.

Saturday night, Alex had a friend sleep over, and all of the kids ended up sleeping outdoors, including the dog. I’m happy to say that no one was kidnapped or murdered, as this girls parents were seriously terrified they would be. Too much Dateline is dangerous.

Yesterday after getting rid of excess children, we took our kids to the Oquirrh Park Swimming Pool. The weather was awesome, the kids had a blast swimming and playing in the water, and I attempted to relive my youth by performing some of my old diving standbys. It was definitely not perfect, but I did my first 1 1/2 off of a platform. Scary, my suit came off of half of my body when I hit the water, but not too bad.

In celebration of the 24th, we planned a bbq, and s’mores and fireworks with friends. Greg is sort of a pyro and has some serious firework history. His family ran a Black Cat stand growing up (and up until he was an adult), so he’s no stranger to this game. The owner of a stand he went to, who happened to know the family, hooked him up and gave him a great deal on a bunch of fireworks, including some really cool aerials. One did happen to malfunction and shoot flames at our neighbors, but that just added to the excitement :).

Here I am, another weekend gone, and me totally exhausted. In 3 days I am throwing what will be the biggest birthday party I’ve ever attempted, and while I think it will be fun, I’m not quite sure I’m prepared for it. Which will then be followed with, 11 days later, Alex’s b-day party which is no small shin dig either. Ugh!!! The great news is that after this August b-day, we’re done for the rest of the year. Woo hoo!

Well, I’m sure after all of my descriptions of this weekend, you think it’s pretty dang epic too.

 

It’s Gotta Go Wednesday

July 20, 2011

There is nothing like opening the dryer door to a pile of warm, clean, fresh smelling clothes.

There is nothing like the mess created when a wad (or 10) of tissue paper are forgotten about in someone’s pants and it gets all over the warm, clean, fresh smelling clothes. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. And giving.

Washing my clothes separate from the kid’s clothing is no accident. It only took a few times of finding pens, lip gloss, more lip gloss, chapstick, crayons, etc., deformed and highly unstable after a cycle before I was cured of that.

Seriously people, is it that hard to empty your pockets? You can leave the money though… I keep that :).

Leaving messy crap in soon to be laundered pockets… it’s gotta go.

Don’t I Know It

July 19, 2011