About Me

Texas, United States
I am a stay at home Mom from Oregon who has landed in Texas.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

live, breathe, eat....

What am I talking about? Girl Scout cookies of course. Holy bananas. We received the cookies 5 days ago, and I'm telling you it's all we've been doing since then. It's paid off, we've sold 164 boxes so far. Natalie has lofty goals of selling 600 boxes, and I will do everything in my power to help her reach her goal!

She is such a sweet girl, she's trying to sell enough cookies so that the whole family can go with her troop to Sea World in May. I know she can do it, she's been a trooper! We've walked around the neighborhood on three different days so far, and she (hardly) complains. Even when it's freezing and all we get are "no, thank you"s. She just keeps going.

I just want her to remember these special times her and I spend together. Trekking around the neighborhood with our red wagon loaded up. Talking about school and friends and life, dreaming about the future. It's fun to hear her views on life. It's fun to be a part of a memory that I hope will stick with her for the rest of her life.

Friday, January 18, 2013

better blogger

Wow. June since my last post. That's embarrassing. Instead of trying to catch up, or apologize for being gone so long, I'm just gonna get you up to date on what we are doing now! And yes, I've finally found time to blog again. I hate blogging without photos, but for now that's just gonna have to do! Pictures will be back eventually. Baby steps. Uh....this is gonna be long.

Natalie has been going to her ballet academy for four months and it has been amazing. Her dancing has grown by...uh, leaps and bounds, and her academics are right on track. She's even been able to move up a bit in math. I love the flexibility of her school, they tailor it to her skill level, and it's wonderful! She is currently training hard to showcase a trio in the 2013 YAGP happening in Dallas in February. It's going to be an amazing experience for her. If you are local you should come out to support her, and see many other fabulous young dancers!

We are also in the thick of Girl Scout Cookie sales! Natalie has a lofty goal of 600 boxes (down from 2,000, haha!) to earn the family a trip to Sea World with her troop. We are hitting the pavement and doing our best to make that happen for her!

Nat is getting lovlier and lovlier every day. Though we butt heads more than I would like, she is truly a beautiful child. And she is very kind and tender, when she's not spouting a little sass! She is truly a blessing for this home!

After a rough start to first grade, Brady has found his groove and is thriving! He reads like a fifth grader, loves video games and legos like any boy should, and adores his baby brother. This boy seriously has me wrapped around his little finger. He is tender and sweet, and a definite mama's boy. And I love every bit of it!

He's been having bad nightmares lately, I think it's due to all the mystery books he's been reading! So we've changed genres and hopefully the nightmares will fade away. He still ends up on the couch at least two nights out of the week. I think he'd sleep with us every night if we let him!

We did finally sign him up for Little League and we couldn't be more excited! It's been too long in coming, and we are stoked to get him into an organized sport. I think he's going to flourish there, and hopefully this will be the first of many seasons! Lot's in store for this almost 7 (!!!) year old!

Oh man. This kid is definitely the glue of our family! He is a ball of sunshine 85% of the time, and we are all so in love. I wish we had video cameras following him around to capture all his silly and sweet shenanigans. This age is the absolute best. He is learning and trying new words every day. He (mostly) eats like a champ, well, he eats like a pig, but he's definitely the pickiest of the kids so far. One week he can't get enough raw carrots/grapes/apples/etc and the next week he won't touch them! It's challenging, but doable.

Wyatt LOVES cars and trains, and almost always has at least one in his tiny little paws. He loves to ride them along the top of the kitchen cupboards right under the counter on the little "road" there in the gap. It's pretty cute when I'm trying to cook, because he pushes in between me and the counter lost in his own little world, to continue his cars journey. 

He also got a pair of soft fuzzy leather slipper boots for Christmas and it was like love at first sight! He has worn those things EVERY DAY since he opened them on Christmas morning. At first it was literally 24 hours a day (minus baths), it has tapered down to waking hours only, but it's the darn cutest thing! Him and those boots! Let's see, what else about Wyatt? He loves his binky and blankie and always has to have them when we leave the house. He loves waffles for breakfast. And he loves cah-toons. Ooops. He's even been known to ask for them first thing when he wakes up. They are a lifesaver when I need to get something done, but he's very picky, and he's never really sat still for longer than a half hour show.

Keith is loving his new job at a large accounting firm. He works in the international tax division, and it's been very good for him. Challenging, but good. He gets to jet set around the country on short little trips, but he doesn't get to see much of the cities he stays in. Just the hotels, and some of those have been pretty swanky! I may have gotten a tad jealous of the trip to San Francisco and the stay in the St. Regis!

I am currently in one of the happiest places in my life that I've maybe ever been. Life is good. I watch 2 little kiddos to help fund Natalie's dance, and it's been the greatest blessing. Thankfully the boys are great, not only are they cute, they are well behaved. Makes my job much easier! And though my job isn't glamorous (Wyatt just brought me a booger, thanks bud, at least he didn't eat it), I absolutely love what I do right now. I've finally gotten a routine where I can get a bit of sewing done if I need, I can (somewhat) on top of the chores, I can cook regularly for the family, and still have time for a nap if I want! Haha!

I've also finally settled into our new ward at church. Only took about 18 months! But, there are some amazing ladies here, and I know it will be a great place to raise our children. I've always been blessed to have good friends, and right now is no exception. Heavenly Father knows my need for outside friendship, and always answers my prayers by sending women who uplift and inspire me to my door. I'm grateful for each and every one of them, and for each of their differences that make them special!

Hopefully a part of my new found time will be recording a bit more of our every day. And then maybe some crafts and recipes! Here's to resurrecting the blog in 2013!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I {heart} yarn wreaths

When it comes to crafting sometimes I want something that is mindless, yet yields a fantastic project. Wrapping Styrofoam wreath forms in yarn fits that bill to a tee! There are so many pictures out there for inspiration. Googling yarn wreath brings thousands of images to choose from.

A few tips to make it easier on you.

1. Start with a basic plan of what you want your finished product to look like. I can't tell you how many forms I've wrapped in a pretty color of yarn thinking I could make something of nothing only to unwrap the whole thing because I couldn't figure out how to finish the darn thing! which leads to #2...

2. Don't be afraid to unwrap your wreath if you don't like how it looks!

3. Wrap that yarn TIGHT. I always do a nice tight layer and then go over it with a "sloppy" layer to give it a more textured look. This ensures that the form is nice and covered, and it gives the finished look a little character.
 4. Have fun and experiment. I saw a picture of this fourth of July wreath and I just went for it. No tutorial to guide me. I'm thrilled with how it turned out. (I wrapped 3/4 in white, 1/4 in blue, and did the red stripes on top, finishing off with buttons). With my ombre style wreath I knew what I wanted it to look like and I just tried different ways to create a fading effect that I was happy with. Next time I will do a few more single strands to symbolize the blending of the colors.
 5. Don't be afraid to accessorize! Hot glue is your friend (as well as how I start and stop my yarn wraps), it can help you put all sorts of baubles and trinkets, banners and flowers, whatever your heart desires on your wreath. The possibilities are seriously endless. Again google or pinterest are great for finding ideas!
6. Different textures create visual interest. I've found that using different thicknesses of yarn, and different fibers for my embellishments helps create depth and makes it fun!

7. Make something that makes you happy! Wreaths are pretty much only there for decoration, and why hang up something unless you love how it looks! Everyones tastes are different, so don't be afraid to make a custom wreath just for you. I love seeing a happy little wreath on my door every time I come home. Makes me smile!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Go bold, or go home!

I don't consider myself to be a tutorial crafter. I find that I create best when I see a picture for inspiration and then I go forth and try to recreate the basic idea, along the way infusing the project with my own spin and tastes. Sometimes it works out, sometimes not!

In the case of my giant chalkboard I had to use others expertise, and a bit of my own trial and error to make a finished product that I adore! It all started with a HUGE, I mean HUGE empty white picture frame that I found for a steal at a garage sale. I'm talking $2.00 for this bad boy! (I know! I couldn't believe my luck!) I immediately knew it had to come home with me and become some sort of family sign.
After a lot of work, mess ups, and a little heartache, that white frame turned into one of my favorite pieces of art in our home. I don't have any step by step instructions on how to create a chalkboard, but if you google chalkboard tutorials you get a ton of hits: here. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. First I painted and glazed my frame. I wanted a nice bold teal, with a dark grey glaze. Well, dark grey glaze translated into a dirty brown glaze, which ended up being a good antique look. Not what I was hoping for, but it has grown on me. So, word of advice, if you are going to glaze something, just use black. Lots of tips on how to glaze things here.

The first wood I chose for the chalkboard ended up being too lumpy. I painted the wood and tried to put chalk on it, and it ate my chalk right up. I couldn't get any of my words to look smooth and it was just a giant mess. So I removed the board and went back to square one. A friend of mine happened to be remaking an empty frame at the same time, and she had some spare wood that worked well, and created a nice smooth finish for her girls to draw on, and she just so happened to have enough extra that she was willing to donate to me! And it turned out fabulously. For those of you wanting to make a chalkboard my advice would be to go to your local hardware store and find the smoothest, thinnest wood for your base. If you have measured your frame (twice to make sure it's accurate!) most places will cut your wood right down to your perfect size! Slap your paint on there (according to the package directions), and you are good to go!

After I was finished I promptly leaned it up against the wall, and left it there for months because I was too scared to draw on it! But hello? The best part about a chalkboard is that nothing is permanent! I don't know what I was so scared of, because I finally worked up the courage and wrote on my board and I love it! To get this look I hopped on the computer and typed up what I wanted to say, messed around with the fonts until I was happy with how it looked, and printed it out as a basic template for my final board. Through more trial and error, doing the best I could to "copy" the look of the specific font (and plenty of erasing) I ended up with a finished product that looks great on the wall, and is a piece the whole family can enjoy! After summer I plan on putting a family quote or some other inspirational saying that we can see every day. I love the idea of easily interchangeable art, and a giant chalkboard gives me just that!
I hope this rambling post can inspire you to be bold! Find an idea that you love and try to make it work for you. Don't be afraid to mess up, because in the crafting world I've found not many things are permanent, and  most mistakes can be fixed (or painted over!).

Monday, February 27, 2012


1) My parents like to give king sized gifts. 2) Worst. Tchotchke. Ever. 3) Natalie is obsessed with these 3D glasses with the lenses popped out. She's so hip. 4) Nat in her solo dress. She's amazing. 5) All gussied up for church. 6) Went out on the town with Nat and Erin and we enjoyed some fine dining. 7) I saw this dress online and hunted it down at the store. I adore it. And I adore it on her even more! 8) Started hanging things on my newly painted dining room walls. It's gonna look so, me, when I am done!


I went grocery shopping with a complete list and meal plan for the week all laid out for the third week in a row. We are eating so much better and I don't have to make multiple trips to the store all week. I love it when I can keep this up!

Wyatt never slowed down. That kid is all over the place. And it's impossible to take his picture! As soon as he sees the camera (or phone) out he crawls over to investigate. So I have to settle for flipping the view so he can see me in the picture, he loves that! I can't believe he is 11 months. He's amazing and is really starting to act like a budding toddler.

I had to go on the hunt for some new work shirts for Keith. His office moved buildings so now the dress code is a bit more formal. Anywho, I ended up at Kohl's, and due to extensive clearance that was an extra 25% off the reduced prices, I spent $96 on six button down dress shirts and 3 pieces of workout clothes for me. The kicker? Unsaved $256.00!! Insane. Too bad I didn't have an extra 20% off coupon. I would have died of happiness. I love a bargain!

I ate a ton ton of fruits and veggies. I am trying to be better about what I eat. I started going back to weight watchers and I realized that I must go to meetings to keep me pumped up. I love my leader and she gets me feeling like I can do anything!

*capturing a smile as long as he can see Mama too*even Wyatt likes the veggies (learning that celery makes a big mess!)*our veggie tray, gonna keep this stocked up for after school snacking*constantly moving these days*

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I am a housewife

My life consists of doing endless piles of laundry. Folding itty bitty baby socks and ballet tights riddled with holes and runs and hundreds of pairs of tiny undies. I pick up soggy towels, stray crayons and Legos. I carefully craft meal plans and grocery lists. I dust and vacuum. I make beds and change sheets and sweep floors and wash dishes and cook meals. And sometimes I take a moment for myself and make a craft or watch some TV, or maybe even fall blissfully into a nap. And I do it every day. Day in and day out. And I love it.

Because I also get to kiss ouchies and put band aids on invisible cuts. I get to receive the most amazing bear hugs from the tiniest arms. I get to see the joy on my sons face when he wakes up on his birthday morning to cards full of well wishes and declarations of love. I get to watch my daughter dance in a way I never had the chance to do. I get to snuggle a squishy baby in a freshly laundered onesie and kiss his soft skin. I read bedtime stories and sing just one more song and pack special treats in school lunches. I foster the love of reading and creating masterpieces out of blocks or crayons. And so much more. So many small, but incredible things that I get to do each day. Day in and day out. And I love it.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Makes me happy

I am trying to participate in a fun little photo-a-day challenge on one of my favorite app called Instagram. Today I was supposed to take a picture of something that "makes me happy". If I could take a picture of today, I would. I had so much fun today I took 3 pictures total.

This morning Keith took the baby after his morning nurse (6:15) and let me sleep till 8 am, when he came in and told me he had made me breakfast! Sweet! Then Erin asked if I wanted to go garaging to hunt for a new dresser (does a bear poop in the woods?), of course I did! After a mild "incident" with Natalie resulting in her staying home to clean her room instead of coming with, Erin and I packed up the baby and headed out to search for treasures. All while Keith stayed home to rip out the bathroom (that's a whole different can of worms). Basically he's awesome.

Garaging was a bust, we only found one gaudy frame begging for spray paint, but it was freezing cold fun nonetheless. We then headed home to regroup, get Natalie off to dance, pick up a big burger and fries for the hard working Mr. Fix it, and nurse the baby. After all that we decided to hit the thrifts! Keith and Brady had moved on to some quality male bonding over Legos and electronics, so we were safe to scoot.

Of course, another bust. We came home with a few adorable Clinique free gift makeup bags and a few vintage kitchen things. But the thrill of the hunt is still fun! And Wyatt was making the happiest little companion. He is such a little ball of sunshine now that he is feeling better. (He is recovering from a fever and on antibiotics for and ear infection)

We then headed home to get Natalie all dolled up for her big date with daddy! Her school is throwing a Daddy Daughter dinner and dance tonight. And she couldn't be more excited! After they got out the door Brady and I sat down to enjoy some chinese take out. Yum! Today was full of things that make me happy. Life is so good, and I am grateful for days like this that help me remember that!

*ready for the daddy/daughter date*catching some zzz's at thrift town*tearing down the wall*

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Today I...

...did stay home with the congested boy, until he woke from one of his many naps burning up. After discovering a 103.1 fever we darted to the pediatrician to discover an ear infection and a pretty nasty cold. Nothing a little bubblegum medicine and Tylenol and lots of rocking and cuddling can't cure.

...got almost all the laundry washed, most of it folded and some of it put away. Ah well, it'll be there tomorrow.

...sat on the couch, but nixed the TV. The baby wanted to be held, and he was a little loopy and delirious, which made for awesome entertainment. He is so silly!

...made that chicken, and it was good! Yum! Super easy, with things I always have. Love adding another staple dish to the repertoire!

*rocking my boy to sleep*aisles and aisles of pretty things at target (that store is so dangerous!)*another sleepy shot, playing with his bink and talking up a storm*

Today I am...

...stuck at home with a congested little baby. I feel so awful for him, but I do very much love that he will snuggle up and fall asleep in my arms when he is sick.

...tackling the Mt. Everest of laundry yet again. Didn't I just do this? Where do all these clothes come from??!

...listening to the birds sing to each other through the skylight. I think when I get older and have more time to kill I will take up bird watching. I would love to know what I am listening too!

...going to make Brady's birthday shirt. Six already! I can hardly believe it. I mean, seriously? How on earth is that guy almost six??!

...hopefully gonna catch up on some serious TV. Lots of good shows waiting on my DVR! TV and diet Dr. Pepper keep this mama sane, and maybe some chocolate for good measure.

...making a new recipe I found via Pinterest. Cream cheese, corn, salsa, black beans, seasonings and chicken thrown in the crock pot. Served over rice with salad on the side. Should be yummy!

What are you doing today?

*Daddy and Wyatt reading together*My smiling sunshine baby*Helping Mama get ready in the morning*Nat and Keith all dressed up for their Daddy-Daughter date at Chick fil-A*