Sunday, May 31, 2009

Out of the Loop

Okay, I've been MIA. I planned to have some posts done and scheduled to post this week so you wouldn't even know I'm gone, but it didn't happen. I've been without a computer for a week now and I'll be without a computer for probably another week. I don't know, we'll see. The lady at the cable company when I set up our service got a kick out of me and says she "knows people" *wink wink* who could speed up the process .

When I return to blogland I will hopefully have tons of pics for your viewing pleasure. To whet your appetite, the fireplace IS even more fabulous in person...and don't even get me started on the chandelier in my powder room... ;)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Art in the Making

I'll keep this short and sweet to make up for my last somewhat rambling post. It's not done yet, but can you guess what this is? Look back at the first fireplace post if you need to see the before picture again.

Say it, it's fabulous.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I got in the car a little while ago to run an errand. When the stereo came on, the song it played brought a flood of images across my mind...

Some background--

Around this time last year Matt made the decision (and I supported him, it wasn't tyranny) to move our family to LA at the beginning of this year. He was working more and more in the indie film industry and he wanted to do even more, but didn't want to be away from the family. He had talked about it a couple of times before, but I hated the idea. So while I never said I wouldn't, I didn't encourage the idea either. Up until last summer it had always fizzled out, but this time it was for sure.

I don't know if it was paranoia or women's intuition or inspiration or what, but I felt so strongly that living in LA would be the absolute worst thing for our family. I wanted Matt to have every opportunity to achieve all his goals and ambitions but I knew down in my core that it would come at a cost.

Fast forward to the day before Matt died--

It was a hot, sunny Saturday morning and I was in the pool with Brigham and Hunter. My friend Shandolynne called and we visited for awhile. She was telling me about this amazing Texas Sheet Cake recipe on the blog of a woman she went to church with, which lead to a conversation about the woman herself, new friend Becky, actually. She is not more than 2 years older than we are, has 7 kids, and her husband was dying from cancer.

After we got out of the pool, I went to her blog to check out the recipe. The song on her playlist at that very moment was Rascall Flatts' "Stand".

Cause when push comes to shove you taste what you're made of
You might bend til you break cause it's all you can take
On your knees you look up decide you've had enough
You get mad, you get strong, wipe your hands, shake it off
Then you stand.
I remember feeling so humbled hearing that song. I thought it would be my anthem as I survived what would surely be the greatest challenge of my life...moving my family to LA and dealing with results of that. I took courage from those lyrics, knowing that I could handle whatever came my way if I just remembered to stop fighting it and let it make me stronger.
And now back to today...
Isn't it shocking how quickly life can change? I have moments all the time when I feel the breath knocked out of me a little bit when I'm caught off guard by that reality . I've played that song so many times since that Saturday, but hearing it today was different for some reason.
Life's like a novel with the end ripped out
The edge of a canyon with only one way down
Take what you're given before it's gone
And start holdin' on, keep holdin' on
Every time you get up and get back in the race
One more small piece of you starts to fall into place
Then you stand
It's still powerful. But today it made me think that I want a do-over. I want the old challenge.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Don't Read This Post if You Have Issues With Feet

Brigham has gnarly toenails. Seriously gnarly toenails. I have intentions of clipping them more often, but he makes such a big deal of it that I usually leave them alone rather than fight with him over it.

This morning when I looked at them I decided that not only was it worth a fight, my ability to think of myself as a good mom hinged on clipping these toenails TODAY. I'm wishing I took a before picture, but for your sakes it's good that I didn't.

I took Brigham outside for the clipping so I wouldn't have to clean up the residue. He made it half way through the job before the agony of it all became too much for him. "Could I at least have a sleeping pill for this?!"

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Re-runs (The Good Kind)

One of my favorite things about having all boys is that I get to see their adorable clothes on more than one kid. I was going through a bin of clothes the other day and was so sad when I pulled this one out. It was one of my favorites on Brigham and Hunter, but for Seth to get much use out of it he should have been wearing it two months ago. It fit Brigham and Hunter like a romper. It fits Seth like an old-fashioned swimming suit. Even though I knew it would be snug, I had to get it on him at least once...

When Hunter saw Seth squirming around the house in this outfit he said, "He wooks wike a ant." I guess because of the knots sticking up on either side of the hat?

Seth's grandma thinks he was sad because his mom made him wear a ridiculous hat, but he had the same expression on his face when the hat came off.

Sorry the pictures are kinda dark. I hear there's software out there that can fix these things. Maybe one of these days I'll check it out. For now, you get dark pictures. At least the kid is cute.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Little Healthy Competition

Seth was a really big baby. Larger than my previous two, and I gained 20 pounds less with him than I did with the other two. Sounds hopeful, no? Pretty much within 2 weeks of his birth I was back to my pre-Seth weight. Don't even bother trying to hate me over that because I still have 25 pounds hanging around after my pregnancy with Hunter and 20 more from Brigham.
Not pretty. So...
6 weeks after Seth was born I started doing the treadmill 6 days a week, along with 100 crunches and a serious number of push ups. I think I should be hot by now. But Seth just turned 7 months old and I have not lost a single pound in all that time. (DON'T even think about putting in the comment section that I'm gaining muscle, because I SO DO NOT CARE WHAT IT IS AS LONG AS THAT NUMBER ON THE SCALE STAYS THE SAME!) I'm thinking it's time to kick it up a notch. A friend of a friend is holding a little competition.
Here are the specs from her blog:
Feeling sluggish? Fat? Dreading swimsuit season? Want to be healthier? Let’s work together, motivate each other, and have a little competition! I just finished a similar competition and loved it so much that I had to start this one so I could continue on a healthy path. It’s great motivation! Not only because you could win money, but you have to report your points weekly for everyone to see! You don’t want to look like a bum!
Here’s how it works: All contestants will need to donate $20 bucks to the pot to be involved. There are 10 points to be earned each day, Monday through Saturday. Sunday is a free day, with no exceptions. The total you can earn in a week is 60 points. All points are to be emailed to Mariel every Sunday and they will be posted by Monday on a blog (made specifically for this competition). For every day after Sunday that you send in your points, you will lose a point. So, make sure you email them over on Sunday!
Here is a breakdown of the points:
No Sugar – 1 point
No Unhealthy Snacks – 1 point
Healthy & Correctly Portioned Breakfast – 1 point
Healthy & Correctly Portioned Lunch – 1 point
Healthy & Correctly Portioned Dinner – 1 point
Take Multi-Vitamin – 1 point
No Food After 8:30 p.m. – 1 point
Exercise 45 minutes – 2 points
Drink 64 oz. Fluid (No Sugar!) – 1 point
Total = 10 points daily

You will also have 10 bonus points that can be used throughout the competition for those days where you are really struggling. You will need to report any bonus points used in your Sunday email. Any unused points will be added to your final score at the end!
There will be a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner. The first prize winner will get 50% of the money, 2nd place will get 30 %, and 3rd will get 20%. Everyone will get a healthier/sexier body!
The competition will start May 24th and will run for 10 weeks until August 1st. All money is due by May 20th. You can mail your payment to:

(if you want the info, leave a comment w/your email or some contact info and I'll give it to you.)
The blog I will set up is a place that everyone will be able to post to. Not only will you see everyone’s points posted there, but you can offer some suggestions on things working for you, recipes you love, motivating, thoughts, questions for the contestants, etc.
My sister Ami and I are in and we would love to have you join in too so we can take
your money when we win.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I've Trained Him Well

A friend of mine is homeschooling Brigham for me while we are in limbo for a bit longer. Yesterday during school, my friend's husband called her and asked what she would like for Mother's Day. After she got off the phone, one of her kids said, "He's probably going to get you a Target gift card." She goes there a lot, so it must be her favorite store, right? Then he turned to Brigham and asked "What's your mom's favorite store?" He didn't even hesitate. "Jared," he replied. That's my boy!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree

It has been 8 months today since Matt died. Because our boys are all young, I've thought a lot about how to preserve their memories of their dad. Since Seth won't have any, I am especially concerned about him having a link to his father.

When Seth was just 5 days old, a dear friend of mine sent a photographer, Maggie Holmes, to our home for a photo shoot. When she asked if there was anything specific I was looking for, I asked her to take a picture of Seth on Matt's piano bench.

Still today the sweetness of that moment brings tears to my eyes. We have pictures of Brigham playing the piano with his dad, and Hunter playing the piano with his dad. But for Seth, the best I could do was this image of his exquisitely beautiful five-day-old self with the motionless keys of his dad's piano in the background.

Today, almost 7 months after that picture was taken, I put Seth back on a piano bench. The image is hugely different! It's kind of long, because I don't know how to edit, so don't feel bad if you skip some of it.

I don't know if Seth has been blessed with Matt's musical ability or if he's just a jolly baby in front of a really noisy toy. I do know he was really upset when I took him away from it. Here's hoping the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sad News

My remodeling guru called. The stacked rock wall is not an option. Apparently because the opening to the right of my fireplace is a hallway, there is no way to finish off the rock without it protruding unattractively and menacingly into the wide open. Having 3 rambunctious little boys who would surely crack their heads open on it, we can't have menacing rock corners. So we are a no go for stacked rock.

But never fear! The Great Fireplace Debate of '09 has come to a resolution! I have ignored all of your counsel in favor of something fabulously dramatic, but I'm not going to tell you what because I'm afraid there may be an uprising of my readership. All you need to know, for now, is that it will look awesome. Don't think this doesn't mean that I don't appreciate your input (too many negatives in that phrase?), because of course I do. But I have a vision...and it is stunning...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Hearth of the Home

My laptop has blue screen, which I hear is bad...again. This has seriously stifled my ability to blog since almost all my photos are on my laptop. I was all set for an entire post about things that make me grouchy (inspired by my laptop crashing) but I have bigger fish to fry: I have to decide what to do with my fireplace, today if at all possible. Since I got all the pictures online, my inability to use my laptop wasn't an issue for this.

This is my fireplace as it currently is. Not a great picture, but you get the idea. (This is not my furniture, BTW.)

Do you favor something conservative and pretty like this:

Or this:

Or do I go full wall dramatic like this:

Gorgeous, huh?! This last one is actually my favorite, and I think I'd like it better without the light stone right under the mantle, and I wouldn't have the hearth part in front. Imagine the walls are a perfect shade of brown-gray taupe (Glidden Soft Suede) and the floors are a rich dark brown hard wood(so dark they're almost black-they're called Black Tulip, in fact).

Care to share your opinion? If you have a pic of another fabulous fireplace, post a link in the comments please.