Tuesday, June 30, 2009

1st Favorite Face

I don't get enough credit for the adorableness of this face. From the time he was born, everyone has always said "He looks just like his dad."

Truth is, he looks a lot like I did when I was a kid. Same coloring, same eyes, same freckles.

His personality is a lot like mine too. He's...uptight. Detailed. Obsessive about schedules and plans. I've learned to mellow, though, and Brigham is just getting started. He is also sweet, and funny, and smart, and sensitive...he is my little thinker. In fact, in the car last week he brought up one of our family themes. Hunter said something blonde (no offense), as he often does, and Brigham said "Every family needs a cheerleader." He continued, referring to himself, "And every family needs a thinker, too. Right, mom?" "Absolutely. So what am I in this family?" I asked. Brave, huh? To ask my kids what their interpretation of my role in the family is? "Every family needs a lovable mom," he wisely replied.

I have to love him for that--and so much more!

I love that impish grin. Brigham is my 1st favorite face. Hard to believe he is 7 today!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

It's About The Climb

You may have noticed by now that I am a sucker for cheesy life-isn't-so-bad song lyrics. One of my current faves (I'm almost embarrassed to admit it, almost.) is Miley Cyrus' new song:
The Climb
I can almost see it. That dream I'm dreaming, but There's a voice inside my head saying You'll never reach it Every step I'm takin' Every move I make Feels lost with no direction, My faith is shakin' But I gotta keep tryin' Gotta keep my head held high
There's always gonna be another mountain I'm always gonna wanna make it move Always gonna be an uphill battle Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose Ain't about how fast I get there Ain't about what's waitin' on the other side. It's the climb
The struggles I'm facing The chances I'm taking Sometimes might knock me down, but No I'm not breaking I may not know it, but These are the moments that I'm gonna remember most I've just gotta keep goin', and I gotta be strong Just keep pushing on, but
There's always gonna be another mountain I'm always gonna wanna make it move Always gonna be an uphill battle Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose Ain't about how fast I get there Ain't about what's waitin' on the other side. It's the climb
Personal thought: I don't think life has much to do with where you start or where you end up. It's about how we handle the climb. We are all fully capable of handling whatever life throws at us, we just get lazy and unfocused sometimes.
Thomas Edison said, "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves." I got that off the calendar in my sister's bedroom and I love it! Can you imagine waking up in the morning and astounding yourself? God gave each of us the capacity to deal. More than that--He gave us the capacity to thrive. And when we allow ourselves to be hysterical when life gives us challenges, or we can't get out of bed in the morning because we think we've got it so bad, or we turn everything into a personal drama that we believe outweighs anyone else's struggles, we are giving Satan a foothold in our lives and throwing in God's face the abilities He has blessed us all with.
Did you expect me to be so churchy today? I sure didn't, but it's my blog and I can say whatever I want ;) . So get up in the morning and astound yourself. And join us next week when we will draw inspiration from the words of the Vanilla Ice classic "Ice Ice Baby".
Not really. But really, it's about the climb.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

You Asked For It

I've been getting requests for pictures of the finished fireplace. To refresh your memory, this is the before...

I can't take pictures of entire rooms yet because my shutters aren't in. I still wouldn't call the fireplace completely finished, because I've got some spots to fill in on the mantle, (I need some greenery on the right and another chunky candlestick on the left) but here it is now...

I love it! I mean I really love it. Every time I see it, without fail, I think "Dang that's a beautiful fireplace." And then I think, "Maybe I should go to design school..." Lol. I wish I could take all the credit, but I should give props to my remodeling guru Frankie for the install and my neighbor Sean for the amazing mantle. You can't tell from my pics, but the mantle is stained to match the floor.

I've been wondering lately how to combine elements of design with elements of family therapy so I can dabble in both worlds. Environment has such a huge impact on our feelings and abilities to manage life and cope with struggles. I think everyone needs at least one spot in their homes that makes them breathe a sigh of relief instead of an exasperated sigh. What's that spot for you? If you don't have one, let me know. I'll work one up for you ;) .

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

I took the boys to the cemetery yesterday to visit Matt's grave for Father's Day. We spread out a blanket and talked until our backs were too hot to sit there any longer. I asked Brigham what one of his favorite memories of his dad is. He said, "Once when you were gone, Dad gave me 8 Oreos. I pulled them apart so I would have 16." MUST have been while I was gone! EIGHT Oreos?!

As we talked I was struck by the thought that my kids will think going to the cemetery for Father's Day is just as normal as other kids think it is to buy their dads a new tie for Father's Day.

If I had to choose for my children between memories of a great dad and the reality of a crappy one, I'd choose memories of a great dad. Matt was a great dad.

Friday, June 19, 2009


About the frosting...I forgot to mention that if you spray your tablespoon with cooking spray before you pour the corn syrup in it, the corn syrup will just slip right out without being a sticky mess. You don't need to spray it for each spoonful, just spray it before the first.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

To My Health Challenge Cohorts

There comes a time in every girl's life when she has to learn to stand up for herself...a time when a girl has to learn that her own needs matter...that she doesn't need to stick with the status quo if it just doesn't work for her...that sometimes it's okay to take the road less travelled...or the road travelled most, whichever the case may be...

I am so tired of trying to follow all the oppressive rules of the health challenge. Okay, yes, I am tremendously grateful for the eight pounds I have recently lost, and I have no intention of finding them again, but enough already! I am taking a break dangit...big time.

Behold, I give you the Chocolate Frosted Brownie.

Yes, I fell off the wagon today. More than that really. I fell off the wagon and pulled the whole dang wagon down on top of myself.
The brownie part is pretty insignificant really. It is merely the mode of transportation for the frosting. The frosting is the focal point. Dreamy. Divine even. (And I don't use that word loosely.) It's delightful on cardboard.
Lesli's Chocolate Frosting
1 and 1/4 sticks unsalted butter
1 and 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. cocoa
3 Tbs. corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3 cups powdered sugar
Beat butter til light and fluffy, which works best if the butter is softened or at room temp. Add vanilla, cocoa, corn syrup and whipping cream until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar. Stir constantly until spreading consistency. Add more cream if needed.

Now, if you'll excuse me, my french fries are getting cold and I believe my fully loaded Dr. Pepper is sufficiently chilled...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

I haven't been ignoring your requests for house pictures, I just feel like I want everything completely done and amazing looking before I post pictures. It will be awhile longer before we are to the "amazing looking" stage, so I'm giving in a little. I've been trying to get a picture of the chandelier in my powder room that adequately showcases it's awesomeness, but it eludes me. If I take a picture with the light on, all I get are black images with faint spots of light. If I take pictures with the light off, I lose the wow factor of the light fixture. I went on the company's website hoping to get a good picture of it there, but it just didn't do it justice. So this will have to do...

I wish I could convincingly describe how much more fabulous it is in person with the bulbs illuminated...*sigh*

With the blue, purple and amber crystals all aglow, can you imagine what a delightful light this would be to potty under? Now what to do with the rest of the room...chrome frames and black and white damask fabric is where I'm headed I think. I'm shooting for glam--something just this close to over the top. Some friends were over the other day and the guy went in to use the facilities. When he came out he said, "You know that's a bathroom, right?" No, silly...it's a powder room...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure

Brigham was a soy baby. When he finally started drinking regular cow's milk he thought the taste of it was absolutely horrible. To take the edge off it I started mixing in a little Ovaltine. He would have a cup in the morning (which he cleverly dubbed "good morning chocolate milk") and a cup before bed ("bedtime chocolate milk"). 6 years into the routine neither of my older two children can wake up in the morning or wind down at night without their chocolate milk. It makes them happy...

This morning, sadly, one of those little cherubs left their good morning chocolate milk within Seth's eager reach. It does not have the same euphoric effect on him...

My poor baby broke out everywhere the milk came in contact with his skin--all over his face, neck, hands and wrists. He was red and puffy and itchy. This picture actually looks a little better than he really looked. He couldn't stop scratching and cried miserably until...

...the antihistamine, cool wet cloth and hydrocortisone cream started to kick in. Sitting at the kitchen table he could hardly keep his eyes open. Finally he slipped into a 3 hour Benadryl coma...

And woke up happy once again...

Monday, June 8, 2009

My 2nd Favorite Face

We are a fully functioning household...We have furniture, food (I have already thrown out the first round of yucky leftovers from the fridge), cable, phones and internet! The cable lady's assurance that she "knew people" did absolutely nothing to speed up our installation, but it works just the same.

Today is all about Hunter, my 2nd favorite face. Let me clarify: Hunter is my 2nd favorite face, not to be confused with being my 2nd favorite face. Can you smell what I'm stepping in here? (That's a disgusting throw-back to my Oklahoma heritage.)

There is just something about this face that makes me happy, even at 5:30 in the morning when I wake up to it just an inch away from my own face.

Call me a freak if you want to, but I think it's the lines under his eyes and his flat nose. I LOVE THEM!

My sister-in-law's sister thinks he looks like James McAvoy. It's probably the adorable smile and the crystal blue eyes. I'm not playing favorites with today's post. Hunter gets it because he is 4 years old today.