time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life - brian andreas

Sunday, February 27, 2011

top 10 list

I really have nothing to say, no interesting stories, and no good pictures to share.  Should make for a great post.
I have an excuse though...we've been moving for the last 2 days...when I say 2 days, I really mean 21 days. 
It has literally taken us 3 weeks of organizing, decluttering, and packing to be ready.
We downsized and ditched our garage (and laundry room. and washer dryer. and a 1/2 bath...but who's keeping track, right?!)...consequently we have a plethora of things decorations just sitting around.  The yellow table I painted here, the beloved mirror here, and even my retro avocado treasure here...all just sitting around.  Sad.  And let me just say that in the last 2 years we went from 2400 square feet to 1000 square feet...I've already parted with a LOT of my treasures.
So instead of sulking (there's been no time for that.  But in the back of my mind and tip of my tongue it's there) about the things we gave up in moving to our new house, I've decided to make a detailed list (because that's just what I do) of all the wonderful things about it:
1-new carpet...in pictures, you'll think it's actually from the '70s, but it's not.  It's brand new and clean and wonderful.
2-free...that's right, no rent.  And because of our free rent, we can afford to stay here.  All of us.  Our previous plan was to either take out more loans or send part of our family back to Idaho (by part, I mean the kids....alone).
3-friends and neighbors near...the complex has lots of students.  We're all poor, and it's free, remember?
4-the floors don't creak...in our last home, the floors were so noisy it would literally wake the kids up at night.
5-tons of hot water and strong water pressure...also a problem at our last house.
6-closer to the Goodwill....need I say more?
7-the kids love it...they were so excited to move, and have already adjusted really well.
8-the master closet is large enough to store (some of) my shoes....they were previously in the garage because of our lack of closet space.
9-tot lot on site...the kids are thrilled.  We spent 30 minutes there yesterday...Beckham ate a snowball (mixed with bark), and Dawson and Harper played in the mud.  I'd say it was a huge success.
10-it already feels like home...I'm most grateful that no matter where we go, it feels like ours because we're all together (cheesy, but true).
We are so grateful to be here.
I'll post pictures of the new digs as soon as I can walk through my front room.  And find my camera.  And have recuperated.

ps: I realized that this is our first of a potential 5 moves in the next 3 years...awesome. That makes 7 moves in 5 years.  Double awesome.
Oh, and because I have serious issues with a post and no pictures, here is a picture of my sister Betsy...who will be here in t-minus 23 days...:

...not that I'm counting.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Today is moving day. 
You're probably wondering how I'm able to sit here and write a post when I should be cleaning, packing, and moving.
Our new place still isn't ready.  We're hoping it will be this weekend.  So we're just waiting...
That's our life, constantly waiting for something.
In the meantime, I'm having to find other ways to fill my time (I'm not even close to ready to move.  Technically, it's called procrastinating). 
So far, it hasn't been a problem:

trip to the doctor with Beckham (shots...poor little lamb)
walk in the sunshine with the Littles (don't worrry, we're expecting 4" of snow Thursday)
baking dark chocolate/toasted almond scones
hair cut and color (this was a total disaster by the way.  one word: mullet. pictures to come.)
valentines dinner

I'd like to focus on the last three: valentines dinner, baking, and organizing (this post actually does have a point, if I can get to it and stay on track...not likely).

Dylan told me on Valentines day that he had big plans to make me a homemade dinner of my choice.  The only meal I've ever been cooked by this man is a quesadilla...it was delicious, but doesn't really count as a 'meal.'  Because of our schedules, we kept putting it off, putting it off, putting it off.  We finally decided to have our Valentines dinner this last weekend.
I decided on homemade alfredo with chicken, spinach salad, and bread with oil/vinegar.  And cheese on all of it: parmesean. feta. more parmesean.
Have I mentioned I'm addicted to cheese? 
I am.
Let me just say...I'm married to Wolfgang Puck.

We had scones and parfaits for dessert:

It was every bit as delicious as it looks.  And even thought it was 2 weeks late, it still felt special and it was great to spend time alone.

In other exciting news, I FINALLY found a chocolate chip cookie recipe.  I've been on the hunt since Dylan and I started dating; chocolate chip cookies are one of his favorites, and my mom never made them growing up (we were a raisin family...not me, but everyone else.  I despise raisins.  And cooked carrots.).  I had a helper, and we made a batch...it seems we ate more dough than we cooked:

They were so delicious.
Chewy, chocolate-y, and soft:

It only took me 6 years to find the right recipe for me..one that produces cookies at the end, not paper-thin pancakes with small bumps in them.
And lastly, while organizing for our move I ran across our wedding pictures.  We had hundreds of pictures taken, and never did a single thing with any of them.  So I'm proud to announce that in a few short weeks, we'll finally have a wedding picture adorning our walls (5 years late).
I'm debating between these two:

Don't we look young?  And skinny?  And rested? 
Now we're just old and fat and haggard.
I remember being really critical of them at the time they were done ...wishing my hair was different, or I'd worn a hat, or that I'd had more color in my bouquet.
I'm finally at a point where I like them, and think I'd like to have one.  We look happy and genuine.
This week I've learned that some things are worth the wait...and even better with the wait.  Like the perfect cookie recipe.  Or the perfect (enough) wedding photo.


ps:  today we went to run errands and I left Dylan and the kids to drive around in the car while I ran into an office for 10 minutes.  They made a run to See's Candies (yum) and this is what greeted me when I came back to the car:

oh, and this:

don't worry, there aren't this many left now

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

dressin' it up

*Don't you like when I try to use a pun as the title of my post?  I always have a ton of ideas floating in my head for the title, and generally try to pick the cheesiest one I can.  You're welcome.

It wasn't until our last week in Idaho that we realized we had no dresser to move with us to Oregon.  We also realized we would have very little no closet space (ridiculous), so would need something to store all our things in.
It was then that my very generous mother offered us her extra dresser, that was holding her scrapbooking supplies (and yes, the entire thing was full...remember, she's very creative?!).  So for the last 1.5 years we've been housing our socks and unders in this rusty red colored bad boy:

Since we're moving, I decided it would be good time to paint her up and change the look a bit. 
There wasn't much I could come up with to change...I scoured decorating blogs and magazines but didn't see anything that seemed very 'me,' other than these 2 dressers, which seemed very 'me' (and very out of my budget):

It was like writers block...but with creativity.  So I resorted to a coat of paint and new pulls....fancy right?!
I emptied out the drawers all over the floor and bed...it looked like a hurricane hit our bedroom. 

I drug it downstairs (alone...it was quite the sight I'm sure) and out to the garage to start sanding.  I also took off some of the frame work because it originally sat flush to the ground. 

I drug it back inside to paint it in the entryway of my tiny townhouse...it's only in the 40s here, and heaven forbid I wait a few weeks until it warms up.  I'd rather put the health of my entire family at risk by priming, painting, and sealing inside.
Don't worry, I left the windows open:

The best parts about it?
Aside from the fact that it was fairly inexpensive (I found pulls and handles for $1.00 each at Lowes...yes, please!), I learned to use a drill.  Awesome. 
I also got to spend some time with my husband, who has been MIA for the last 1.5 years.  He not only helped me saw off the existing stubs (aka: legs) but drilled the holes for all the pulls and handles.  Although originally he thought it was a ridiculous idea to paint the dresser, he put on a happy face and really came around to the idea (he always does...he's the best).  I'm already looking for other things I need his 'help' with.
A big thanks to my mother who not only gifted us this piece, but allowed me to change the look. 

I think she'll fit in perfectly in our new place (the dresser, not mother...although I wish it was my mother.  I'd love to have her living with us...and would gladly give up my freshly-painted dresser if she would).


ps: please note the adorable child in the picture on the dresser.  Don't you just want to reach through the computer and squeeze his cheeks?!

Monday, February 14, 2011

hearts day

The day began as a typical day:

Last night after going to bed I couldn't sleep.  Around 2:30am I realized that I had failed to do Dawson's valentine cards for his class party today.
So this morning, we got up at 6:30am and did them...
Last minute, rushed, and flustered (me, not him).

Then when Dawson arrived home from his party with candy and cards, Harper had a total meltdown (her party is tomorrow).  Despite Dawsons sharing, it wasn't enough and a total fit ensued. 
Then she peed all over the floor.
I made her wear a diaper for the remainder of the day, and kept referring to her as 'baby.'
I hoped this would encourage her to rethink urinating on my floor in the future.
Not exactly how I wanted to end the night with her.

To top it off, Dylan and I decided not to exchange gifts this year...
So I bought him nothing.
He bought me a pedicure, manicure, and undisclosed gift due to arrive sometime this week.
Slacker (again me, not him. Obviously).
All in all, it was a typical disastrous day.
Except for that it was hearts day....which is my favorite holiday of the year.

We ate pink heart shaped pancakes together for breakfast.
Played all day with heart (and strange animal) shaped balloons.
And ate way too much heart shaped candy.

The kids received gifts and cards from both grandparents, and were thrilled about their aprons from the Conklins and cash from the Hatfields (you can never go wrong with cash).

I love my valentines...all 4 of them.
And hope they love me.
Despite me being forgetful, stern, and unthoughtful (who knew that 'no gifts' = buy a wonderful, thoughtful present?!) this hearts day.

Oh well, there's always next year.


ps: this is the wreath I did last night...when I should have been working on Dawson's cards:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

a spot of sun

The rain is back.
We went 3 days straight with not even a drizzle.  And for a moment in time I thought maybe the rain was gone and it was time for Spring...I let myself get excited..  Which was foolish.
However, last week there was a break in the clouds and darkness (I mean that literally and metaphorically...you know I despise the rain).
There was a yard sale.
While chauffeuring the littles to preschool I noticed that there was an antique store in Forest Grove that was going out of business. 
It has been on Main street for almost 16 years, and I'd been in a few times previously but had never purchased anything.
I do own a fabulous gold charm bracelet from there, gifted to me by my thoughtful and stylish sister Betsy.  It has a Buddha, birdcage with small green bird inside, treasure box, and wishing well ...it's really too cute for words.

Back to my story. 

There was a huge sign on the store window advertising a 'yard sale' and it immediately made my heart pitter patter.  I almost crashed the car turning around to see the sign....pathetic huh?  In my defense, there has been a serious yard sale drought here...I blame the rain (ironic right?  drought...rain).  Or it might be time of year, who knows?!
Saturday morning I rushed over to the antique sale with my friend Lisa.  I was filled with excitement immediately when I laid eyes on this beauty:

Red patent leather belt... in perfect condition...
$1, which is just in my price range. 
We kept scouring the tables and found numerous other 'must haves'...at one point I had 4 lamps in my arms (in my defense, I did put 1 back.  Because only a crazy person would take home 4 lights from 1 sale...ahem).
I found these sweetest bird plates, which I think will be perfect to help organize my jewelry:

Side note: If you've never been to my house (which most of you have not...and by most, I mean the 6 of you reading this), you've never seen the disaster that is my accessory closet:

hats, gloves, and furs...yes I live in Portland and own furs.  i know, i know

purses...some of them anyway


jade box

skeleton keys...one of my favorite things

gloves and bracelets
necklaces...yes, i have them on a thread organizer. if anyone has a better suggestion i'd love it


scarves...again, some
Yes, we live in 1000 square feet and I have an entire hallway closet that is dedicated to housing my jewelry, hates, scarves, purses, and other worthy treasures (including an antique fur stole from my great aunt and a small jade jewelry box from our dear friend Kathie).  So the dilemma is that our new apartment has NO extra closet to house my treasures.  In turn, I have NO idea where I'm ever going to put all my things.  Thus the cute bird plates.  To help contain the chaos.
See... there's a method in my madness.
We wandered further at the antique sale and my friend Lisa hollered that she'd found the real treasure of the day (and she never lies):

I've been looking for a sunburst mirror for a while now, mostly on Ebay and during my thrifting excursions.  Of course, antique is even better in my book (I am my mothers daughter after all).  The best part?
Double score.
I'm looking to add 2 more to my 'collection' and hang all three above my green piece. 
So if you happen upon a yard sale, antique store, or feel in a giving mood (and have one of these gems in your possession), I'd love to add them to my collection.  And I'm not picky...any of the following styles will do:

The antique sale was a total success. 
It reminded me why I'm excited for Spring...yard sales.  And perhaps Spring will also inspire me to clean house and clean out my accessory closet (or soon-to-be lack thereof).  And then I'll have to find another use for those cute bird plates.

ps: don't judge me for my over abundance of accessories.  I know I have a problem. 
But you should see my shoes.