Sunday, September 30, 2012


I'm excited to participate in The Nester's 31 days series!  (so excited that I messed up my first link...yeah, I'm pretty great like that)  Before I introduce my topic, I want to explain where I'm coming from.  I've been married for 23 years and have a house full of boys - 16, 14 (this month) and 8. Like all moms, the last 16 1/2 years of motherhood has been full of sacrifice and changes.  I understood that I'd lose sleep with my babies, that my days wouldn't be my own anymore, and that one day I would be driving kids to and from school and activities.  I understood that my home would also change to accommodate my children.  I just didn't understand it would mean no more Kleenex.  I used to buy tissue boxes to match the decor in each room.  It was a little decision that used to matter to me.  It mattered until I grew tired of boys wasting them to pretend to blow their nose or "decorate" the house. I finally let go and decided that we could grab a little toilet paper when we needed to blow our nose.  I mean, who cares, it's only temporary - right?  Fast forward to today, I still live in a Kleenex-free home.  That's part of what will change over the next month.  I also realized that in the last 16 years, I have grown tired.  Tired of trying to keep up with three boys, grocery shopping, cooking, cub scouts, boy scouts, homework, teacher conferences, laundry, housework, budgeting, driving, more laundry and more driving.  I've lost the joy of setting a pretty table, decorating my home, having parties with friends, decorating for the holidays and even the simple joy of lighting a scented candle.  The next 31 days will be dedicating to Reclaiming my Suburban Utopia. 
(days will be updated as they post)
Day 1: Smells Like Utopia Already
Day 2: Taking Care of Me First 
Day 3: Couples Love Subway Art 
Day 4: Reality in Utopia 
Day 5: A Breakfast Table and a Little Happiness
Days 6-8: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back 
Day 9: Halloween Decoration...a Beginning
Day 10: Eavesdropping, Stranded & a Secret Rendezvous 
Day 11: Finally Getting Around To It
Days 12-14: Keep That Sense of Humor, It's Critical 
Day 15: Birthday Boy! 
Day 16: Fall Placesetting & a Crazy Day 
Day 17: Family Dinner 
Day 18: Yummy Food, Productive Day 
Day 19: Pantry Love 
Day 20: A Little Breather 
Days 21 & 22: My Grand Plans 
Day 23: Time for Fun 
Day 24: Fall Trees 
Day 25: Being in the Moment 
Day 26: Kleenex!
Day 27: Jewelry 
Day 28: Traditions 
Day 29: Monday Night 
Day 30: The Penultimate Post 
Day 31: Halloween!
I DID IT!!!!  I finished the 31 day series....thanks for joining me!

Sunday, September 23, 2012


It was MY weekend to go thrifting!  Not only was it fun and inexpensive, but I found the elusive Holy Grail! (you know, the Holy Grail for the House of Steve!)  Saturday was 50% off Goodwill shopping.  Here's some items that didn't make it into the basket.  I about died when I found this mug.  My friend always says "I LOVE MY LIFE" to help her laugh in less than perfect moments.  I thought I had found THE gift for her.....
 until I saw that it actually said "wife".  Bummer!  But please tell me what husband would EVER use this mug?!? 
 Next up, Uncle Sam channeling Michael Jackson?!?  
Moving on.....
 to the original Angry Bird!
I guess it's true, if you feed a bird rice and then let him drink - he expands!  This one's about to burst!!!
 Now for something that I did put in the cart. 
Our Holy Grail....the elusive eagle!
I never had a problem finding eagles at thrift stores, until I was looking for one!  Then there wasn't an eagle to be found.   As I was preparing for Colton's Eagle Court of Honor, I had my vision of the food table.  There would be a large eagle in the center and smaller eagles on either side.  Instead, I found nothing.  Then, in a last ditch effort, I went to the dollar store and found these eagles.  I painted them red, white, blue and silver and they were placed on the display table by his eagle certificate.  Friday at Deseret Industries (DI), as I was looking at some chairs (look behind the eagle) I saw something across the room.  When I realized what it was, I yelled at my mom to watch my basket and ran.  It does exist and I found it!  It's even bigger and better than I ever imagined!!!  The only problem, I couldn't afford the price tag.  NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!  Why would I find it only to leave it in the store.  Unbeknownst to me, a couple of employees were very curious as to why I was running through the store, yelling that I found it.  My mom quickly told them my plight, and when they saw I couldn't afford it, they had pity on me, reduced the price (less than 1/2 the original price), and I said YES!!!!  I was so EMBARRASSINGLY excited!  Like, taking my photo with it excited!  (and then blogging-about-it excited!)  And since this photo doesn't quite show his majesty...
 Here he is!
All two and a half feet of him!
Now, it's time for you to help.  He needs a name! (and I think to be painted one color - especially since he will be displayed in the House of Steve)  So, what would you name him?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


It's not always easy to talk about my teenagers.....not that I find it difficult, but they don't always appreciate my openness.  Kyler is very open....let me reiterate, KYLER IS VERY OPEN!  Anyone that has been in his presence for more than 60 seconds know that, which reminds me of last Friday night.  We were tailgating after the homecoming soccer game and our Booster Club president came over to visit.  She asked what grades Colton and Asher were in and after I answered her, Kyler threw his hands in the air and said "AND I'M ADOPTED!!!"  One would think Kyler would respond by stating he's in the 3rd grade.  Obviously, "one" has not met him!  This photo was taken at 7:35am the other week.  We left too early and Kyler needed to stay in the van since the earliest you can be dropped off is at 7:45am.  We talked for awhile.  I snapped photos.
He didn't always appreciate them!
 At about 7:44am, Kyler realized something.  
We ended up leaving the school, grabbing the lunch box off the island and promptly returning to school with only a few minutes to spare.  Silly boy!
 I wanted to say "frustrating" instead of "silly", but I needed to reserve "frustrating" to describe his actions in the afternoon.  Isn't that mud splatter lovely?  As soon as he came home from school, he hopped on his bike to enjoy the water in the gutters.  Frustrating....but not unexpected!
Here's more Kyler goodness!
Last Tuesday was pack meeting.  The boys displayed their collections.  Kyler didn't prepare one, no worries though.  He just picked up 12 different rocks out of his den leader's yard.  Project done!  (oh, I'm already stressed about his research projects in the future!)  I love how the name tag says "Kyler S." even though he's the only Kyler in the group.  He LOVES cub scouts and I LOVE his leaders!!!!  Thank you for putting so much work into scouts and for having patience with my mancub.
 Even MORE Kyler goodness!!!
Kyler is on the Broncos Flag Football team this fall.  He's loving every minute of the practices, camps and games.  He's in the middle of this photo with his back to us.  He was leading the stretches this day.
 Here he's on the right of the huddle.  He listens very well to the coach and then proceeds to tell the other boys where they're supposed to be.  Then he runs back to the coach to find out where he's supposed to be!!!  Yes....he's going to rule the world! (I know it's a lifetime away, but I can't wait to see the woman he'll marry one day!)
 Before school this morning.  Playing with toys and watching Dinosaurs in the background.
 And finally, a tennis ball with a bad hair day?!?
 What is strong enough to tear apart a tennis ball?
All 4 1/2 pounds of her!!!
 Yep, another day in paradise.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


I've been getting allergy shots for nearly 8 years now (same amount of time I had braces....just saying).  I don't think I will ever be without them (the shots, not the braces!) but that's just fine with me.  I can't imagine living life without watermelon, cantaloupe or avocados again.  In the beginning, I was bringing all of my boys to the office.  Colton, Asher and I received shots and Kyler was our tag-a-long baby.  All the nurses quickly fell in love with him and even nicknamed him "TONKA"!  It used to be a struggle to take everyone.  Let me rephrase that - "IT USED TO BE TORTURE!!!!!"  We would sign in, wait anywhere from 5-15 minutes to get the shots, then wait 30 minutes more before they would check our arms again.  If there was a problem (Asher and I frequently had a little problem-generally when we were in a rush!) we had to stay an additional 10-15 minutes with ice on our arm. Over time, Colton was able to stop getting the shots.  Eventually Asher would be free from the shots too and then it would be down to me.
 And frankly, that's when it became enjoyable.  I go when it fits my schedule.  Instead of dealing with my kids in a crowded waiting room, I'm by myself in a quiet (often empty) room.  It's actually relaxing. The other day I cleaned out my purse, took pictures of Dory and Nemo and then wrote in my notebook.  Some days I just read a peace.  No one bothers me with a question.  No one asks for something out of my purse.  No one needs me to step in and remind them of their manners (or lack thereof).  What used to be torture is now bliss.  Which brings me to my next topic...our weather.
While I wouldn't say it's close to being blissful, it isn't pure torture anymore.  We've had high temps below 100 and we've even had lots of moisture fall from the sky - someone said it's called "rain".  Whatever it is, it's unusual and it's making me hopeful.  Hopeful that we will have cooler temps once again.  Hopeful that we'll soon choose to be outside.  Hopeful that blissful weather is just around the corner. With all that hope, I'm making plans.  Plans to picnic, visit the park, go on family bike rides, eat our dinner out back (on the table I'm painting - once the weather cools off), plant winter grass, visit with the neighbors and TURN OFF THE A/C.  Now that's pure bliss!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I say soccer revisted since he was probably Kyler's age when he played soccer last.  Now, a junior in high school, he's on a soccer field again.  With only three weeks practice under his belt, they had their first game.  They get to wear their jersey to school on game days. 
 Go #16!
 Can I just say.....IT'S HOT!!!!
Sitting on metal bleachers doesn't feel too good, but I was happy to be there for my boy.
First home game against Show Low.  (we lost)
 First away game against Alta Vista in Tucson.  (we lost)
 Here he is with Jacquelen, who cheered him on in Tucson!  Thanks, Jacquelen for going to the game and taking pictures!!!
 I know it's frustrating to lose, but I'm so proud of this kid for going out for soccer.  I'm proud of the effort he makes at every practice and at his games.  I'm proud of his discipline and I'm so happy he's loving being a part of a team.