Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Time is St. Paul

I know, I know, I've been out of town a lot lately. Before the snow melted and I was desperate to get out of town, I told John that I wanted to go see two of my long distant friends... Michelle (in Charlotte- where I went two weeks ago) and Charis in St. Paul (where I just returned from).
Of course, we took NO pictures, but that just means we were having too much fun to think of any blog readers.
Charis is just finishing her third and final year as an emergency medicine resident. This was kind of a celebratory trip. She can now live a fairly normal life and actual make money!! We got pedicures, refurnished her porch, shopped at the farmers market, watched movies, went on walks and other "real person things" as Charis calls them.
A real treat for me was spending some one on one time with Bailey. I took only her on this trip since Charis has a little boy, Tate, her age. She is so enchanting. It was a pure joy to have her with me.
I have to give a shout out to Charis's husband Steve who dealt with little girl giggles all weekend!!
I wish my friends were closer, but I sure loved the new view and basking in Charis's charming presence.
Oh, and Steve is a radiation resident, so I learned a lot about various cancers, namely cervical and rectal. Never want either!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Forgive me, I'm on Vacation

I'm spending the weekend in St. Paul, Minneapolis with my dear friend Charis and just wanted to quickly get that last post up about that new mascara. In my hurry I forgot to give you a little information.
It's Loreal Double Extend. It creates these faux extensions on your lashes that are a little hard to wash off. At first I thought I may have bought waterproof mascara. Don't you hate it when you do that? But it just took a little extra scrubbing and it came off just fine. You will have those faux extensions in your sink when you get it all off, so don't let that alarm you.
Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Product Push

On a whim I bought this mascara. I LOVE it. I keep stealing glimpses of myself in the mirror to check out my noticeably longer lashes. There are two steps, which doesn't bother me, but my bother some. Still, it's worth it. Try it!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Here's to the Dads in my Life

This one taught me to be kind, tender and to love deeply. He provided for me all I ever needed and more (we're not talking "stuff" here) as I grew up. He showed me how to care for body and be healthy. He taught me that I am worth more than rubies and I deserve only the very best...
This one gave it all to me...
Happy Father's Day!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Adeline's Dance Recital

At the end of May Adeline had her year end dance recital. It was such a treat for me to be on the watching end of a recital. I look forward to many many years of this...
Doing a little dance for the camera in her fairy costume
Danish folk dance costume
And a couple funny faces
First position
Third position (at least the arms)
Mom's creative way of pulling back a bob
A friend from class
The whole class
Funny faces from the whole class
Performing the dancing duck

What a DOLL!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My Big Behind

It's even bigger than you think!!!
I'm so so behind on blogging and this post is only going to cut my "behind" in half, but that's better than nothin'.
So here's 3 posts for the price of 1...

Lake Powell
We went, we swam, we hiked, we camped, we had bad weather, but we still had a blast

We had to stop at the Moqui cave in Kanab on the way...

Life jackets are a must!!

So are hats and SMILES!!

The wind made for a wet and bumpy boat ride. Still lots of fun and a happy memory.

I was home from Lake Powell for 1 day and headed to Charlotte, NC to visit my BFF Michelle. She is prego with her 4th and didn't want to trek across the country to see me, so I had to go see her. The trip was way too short. We had so much fun together...just like old times (we were college roommates...nuff said)
We got pedicures and facials

We ate and shopped in uptown Charlotte (Uhh..we ate and shopped a lot actually! And I've got the "big behind" and little bank account to prove it)

We stayed up waaay too late doing projects. Michelle is a great seamstress and helped me make my little girls these dresses. SO CUTE!!

And taught me how to make these cute fabric flowers.
I miss her already!!!

A few days after I got home, we took the kids to see Beauty and the Beast at the Scera Shell, which is an outdoor theatre in Orem. It was very cute. My kids loved every second of it!!
The set was very well done. Some of those books pull out and moved around for different scenery. Beauty and the Beast is my very favorite Disney movie. It's so magical to me and I loved being able to share that with my kids.

John got all the kids glow necklaces.

Addie loves to meet princesses
It was a late night, but well worth it. Bailey clapped with great enthusiasm and would turn and say to me "I loved that song!!"
Pure Heaven!!
Stay tuned...Lots more to come!!

Friday, June 12, 2009


Eight years and counting!

John and I were sealed in the Costa Rica, San Jose temple June 12, 2001. To all of you who OOOHH and AAAHHH over your husband on your anniversary (and since I do enough anyway), I only have one thing to say....


I got the very best one!! HAHA

I'm so grateful it's for all eternity!!

I hate these things

When I was a child, I remember going to the dentist. My first thought of this light was "how convenient." I was glad the dentist was able to get a better look in my mouth.

I was stupid.I was completely mortified as a 21 year Mormon girl when I went in for that dreaded pre-marital exam. All alone with my legs tensely in stir-ups, the doctor turned on his "convenient" light and pulled it over to get a better look "down there."

See how stupid I was?

I just got home from a wonderful trip to North Carolina to visit my dear friend Michelle (more on that later). We took a day to get facials and pedicures. The lighting in the facial room was dim, so when she said "I'm going to do a skin analysis" I didn't really mind. Then she pulled out my nemesis with a magnifying glass attached and proceeded to tell me about the large pores on my nose (which I already know about). I thought she might offer a solution, but it seemed that it was all more for my own information. Thanks a lot.

I hate those things.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Being Totally Attached and Completely Detached

Financial advice for women

Preface: I am not perfect or trying to appear that way. I was raised by financially smart parents, married a financially educated man, and have spent several years researching and practicing good financial habits. I will say it again; I am not perfect, but here's what brings me peace...

I like nice things and I actually have some now! They didn't come fast or easy, but they're here now and they have brought me joy, not because they are nice things, but because I am not a slave to them. I have saved, studied and searched for them. And even at that, they aren't the nicest things I could have bought. They are the nicest things I could afford.
Let me go deeper. When John and I got married 8 years ago, he was 23 and I was 21. We were both in school and working. Our first apartment had thinning carpet, dingy linoleum, and an ever dirty bath tub, but do you know what else? It had two bedrooms, a living room and kitchen, all of which were ours! We were thrilled. We had nothing to put in our apartment and very little money. We decided we didn't want to go into debt at all, so we went to the "BYU board" (a place where students could advertise various items for sale) and found a couch and a table for $20 total! Hurray! They were ugly, but they were ours. The couch was at least 40 years old. It was terribly uncomfortable. My poor mom slept on it for a week when she came to stay after we had our first baby and didn't complain once! I did splurge and bought a $20 slipcover for it, so it at least didn't look so bad. It wasn't as nice as our neighbor's leather couches that they financed, but I didn't care. That couch was OUR place to sit while watching OUR TV (which we got for $35 because it was a display model at Target) in OUR apartment, not an item that defined me. I was completely detached.
Just after our first baby came (a year and a half later), I found a couch set at a garage sale for $250. We gave away our $20 couch and happily welcomed our new set which was less ugly and more comfortable. Unfortunately, it was previously owned by smokers, so it only lasted a few months. By this time, we had been married nearly two years, driving a ten year old car with two doors and no AC, had spent less then $500 to furnish our apartment with all of our firsts, and were putting away as much as we could each month. I knew what money came in and I knew what went out and to where. We had a strict budget, paying our tithing, then ourselves, then our bills, and using the rest to eat out or do other fun things. I kept track of everything and could tell you in the third week of the month if we had enough money to do a date night at Winger's and the movies (and by "movies" I mean the dollar theatre) or if we would go to Taco Bell and borrow a movie from a friend to watch at home. I was totally attached.
The next couch set we bought was actually purchased from a store! We, of course, got it in the scratch and dent section. We didn't find it the first time we went, so we began to frequent the store and wait for what we wanted. What did we want? Leather! That was the only requirement. I wanted and deserved a standard, but couldn't go too high. Since our first baby was now 3 months old and we had experienced the plethora of body fluids that soak a couch, we decided on leather as our standard and left it at that. I really wanted a cream or tan colored set. One day, after weeks (at least) of watching, we walked in and saw a leather couch set with ottoman right in our budget ($1000). It was black. I didn't care. It was leather and in our price range. Those were our standards. Color was less important because I was completely detached. We paid cash for it and it felt so good to wipe my baby's spit up right off of OUR couch, no one else's.
3 years later, out of school, another baby and running a fairly successful business started by my husband, we bought our second home, which was much bigger than our first home and apartment. As a side note: We were "pre-approved" for a $600,000 home. We laughed, cut that in half and bought ours for $290,000. More on that later. Continuing with our couch situation...My new home had a family room AND a living room. My black leather couches looked great in the family room (and by the way, that table I bought with the first couch for $20, looked great painted black in my new kitchen- YUP! We still had it four years later). My living room sat empty for a month, then two months. I asked John "When can we buy couches for the living room?" He gave me a number, an amount. He wanted to have a certain amount of money in our savings account before we bought them. I was a little frustrated, but agreed. I started cutting corners everywhere I could to save money. I would make my kids peanut butter sandwiches and take them to eat at the McDonald's play place. I put myself on a strict grocery budget, bought only what was necessary for clothes, and watched every penny coming in and going out. I was all in for growing our savings and I was totally attached. It took a year. We disagreed completely on our "standards" for this new set. I wanted a smaller set to put in the living room. John wanted a big sectional to go in the family and to move our black set to the living room. By this time we had baby number 3, we had been in our new house a year and I had just spent that long saving for this set. I could've fought harder for what I wanted, but I had decided 6 years earlier that my couch had nothing to do with who I am, it never had and it never would. As I type this, I'm sitting on a tan leather sectional. I think it's too big for this room and it's color clashes with my walls. Sometimes I think about it and roll my eyes, but I really don't care that much. And John makes a good point "It seats more people comfortably." That's what I really want! Instead of perfect furniture in my perfect home, I want more people, more comfortable in my home. I'm completely detached.
The couch story is us on a small scale. Cars are bigger and more expensive. I will shorten the car story, because it illustrates the same point. When we got married we drove an 11 year old car that my parents bought for me at the end of my freshman year of college. As I mentioned earlier, it had two doors and no air conditioning. I literally jumped for joy when I got this car at 19. As a 22 year old pregnant chick, I was less enthusiastic. That summer of 2002, we decided that it had to be the last summer we drove that car because we didn't want our little baby to get heat stroke. So we started saving. I had my baby in November and shimmied his carseat in and out for over 6 months, dealing with the two doors just fine since the heat wasn't an issue yet. Come April, we started our search. Our standards for a new car? 4 doors, AC, and under $5000 (that's what we'd saved). We searched online, in dealerships and even went weekly to a car auction in our county. 2 months later, and just as the heat was setting in, we bought a great 4 door, air conditioned car for $4000 at said auction. We lucked out. It was cute and even nicer than we expected. But what should you expect from an auctioned car? I'm being completely honest when I tell you that we found a dissected frog in the trunk! Formaldehyde and all. YUM! And before the summer was through, we had to put another $1000 into making it a truly reliable vehicle. Thank goodness we held on to that extra $1000 we had saved. Are you getting that subtle lesson? I actually liked driving this car, but soon enough it started to have more problems and we knew we had to either sale it or spend on it. We sold it and bought (after months of search) the most hideous mini van known to man. My only standard was 2 sliding doors and AC (still traumatized from my 3 summers without it). It was purple and ugly. I didn't feel cute, young and hip driving it as I had my auction car. The good news though, we paid cash and it was ours. No one could ever take it from us (at times, to my dismay), but I was completely detached. That van is only in my nightmares now and we drive a lovely silver one for which we also saved and searched and paid cash. Car debt makes me sick...another subtle lesson.
Bigger scale? Our house. I mentioned we could have gotten a loan for twice as much as we actually did. I'm being totally truthful in saying that it didn't even appeal to me to buy bigger and nicer. Why? Because it would totally ruin our lifestyle. Our first home was itty bitty. We finished the basement and rented it to newly weds. This paid most of our mortgage. We were able to be a little looser with our budget and I liked that. It was fun to buy my kids happy meals for a change! If we bought a bigger, nicer, more expensive home, all of John's hard work would go right back into our home. We wanted it to go to vacations, date night, new clothes, and more importantly for us, others. We included a third party in the decision of which home to buy. It was the Lord. Inviting Him into the process made everything turn out right and doing what we knew would be pleasing to Him gave us that much more direction and guidance. If you ever run into me, I'll tell you the story of finding our home. It's a good one. I love my home because it's my home. I don't love my floor plan, my tile, my smallish kitchen and the formica counter tops, but you know by now that I'm completely detached from that. Because of that detachment in buying a more modest home, we were able to put in a killer backyard (yes Dad, "killer" is good). We take our family on amazing vacations, go on nice dates and I even take liberties in my clothes shopping. But most importantly, we have excess to give. We love to give. This is where detachment really comes in handy...Just give. Sometimes it will be your widow's mite and sometimes you may not bat an eye at a large some, either way, it's spreading around what is not truly yours anyway.
I will admit, I am not totally attached to every aspect of our spiderweb of finances now. I hate it and desperately need to get more involved, but I still know what money comes in and where goes out. My attachment to this strengths my marriage, allows me to teach my children, and empowers me.
And that detachment from the things of this world...Makes me free!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Fair Warning

Financial security has always been a strict goal in our marriage. We've worked hard, studied and saved. This year our ward has put on a series of financial firesides that have been very inspiring. So inspiring, in fact, that I am in the process of writing up my thoughts and feelings I have acquired over the years. So you are now formally warned that my next post is going to be void of pictures and plentiful in the things of my mind...SCARY!! I only hope it inspires you to find financial security in this terribly insecure world.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Family Photo Shoot

Pictures courtesy of Lizzy Jean Photography

Beware: Picture Overkill