Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I think...

I think I want to buy this chair.  What do you think?
It would be so fun for photo shoots and it would look charming in my living room.  I've been wanting a fun chair in my living room, but haven't found one I really love.  I'm in love with this chair though, so...  
I realize its a little tattered, but its just so pretty.

Seriously, what do you think?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


So Marshall just piped up out of nowhere, "Get your head out of that freakin' buffalo."  Who knows where that came from... so I asked him, "What?  Where did you hear that?"  He replied, "From my imaginary friend."  Megan and I started laughing.  That's quite an imaginary friend.  Megan told him, "Michael tells you some weird stuff."  Apparently that was unacceptable.  He has now informed us that we are only allowed to refer to him as "your imaginary friend" and Marshall is the only one that can call him "Michael."


We're so lucky to be in Southern Utah.  Yesterday had extreme blizzard conditions in the northern part of the state, but all we got were some clouds here in the valley.  Up the mountain, on the other hand, got so much snow we had to cancel our plans for Thanksgiving at the cabin.  When I told Marshall, he was really bummed.  On the verge of tears...  After a second of gaining his composure he asked the most important question in his 3 year old mind.  "Are we still going to deep fry a turkey?"  Haha.  This kid is so funny.  He has obviously picked up on his dad's enthusiasm for such a project and he didn't want the snow to take that away from him.

So this morning we wake up and a little bit of snow found its way to good old Hurricane.  It makes me wonder if this could be the year for a White Christmas.  Even if the white doesn't stick, it would make my childhood dreams come true.  Just to see the flakes dancing down from the sky... oh, that would be magical.  During my childhood, the closest we'd ever gotten to it was while I was in high school and it snowed the day after Christmas, while our family was on our way out of town to sunny California.  I get just as excited about it now as an adult as I ever did as a kid.  Anyway... when Marshall discovered the thin white layer of snow he was freaking out.  Oh, he was so excited.  He was practically yelling, "Whoa, Dad!  It's snowing on your truck!  Whoa, Dad!  It's snowing on your windows!  Whoa, Dad!  It's snowing on your four wheeler!  Whoa, Dad!  It is not snowing on the road!"  He is just too cute. 

Now this morning we're gearing up for a good old fashioned Thanksgiving here in town.  It will be great!  I'm extremely glad that I went against all my instincts yesterday and did not gather all the snow gear we'd need today to make our way up to the cabin.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!  
...and Happy Black Friday to all my fellow crazies.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

100 shirts and a pair of shorts.

This is kind of embarrassing.  This chair sits in the corner of my bedroom right by my side of the bed.  I cannot tell you the last time I saw it looking this beautiful.  I mean... empty.  It is a glider recliner by trade but it does under cover work as a landing spot for my clothes.

I'm kinda weird about my laundry.  I never let Colby help me.  Or anyone for that matter.  I'm quite a control freak.  I wash it all in one day not load by load each day of the week.  I really don't even mind laundry.  The sorting, the washing and the folding are fairly enjoyable to me.  I'd do it every day if I could trade it for some of the other chores I do on a daily basis.  The hard part comes when its time to put it all away.  The first thing to be put away is the boys' clothes.  I'm very particular about the way their clothes are put away and I do it immediately so I always know where everything is.  Then I put towels away because I like them to stay folded and sorted the way I do it.  On and on from there until its time to put my clothes away.  They are always very last.  And usually by that time I've lost interest and am on to the next exciting Mommy task.  And so they land on the chair.

As I was putting away MY clothes today I started doing some self searching about why I leave my clothes in a giant pile after I spend so much time being so particular.  I came away with some interesting thoughts.  In our household if there is something to be found I am the one that must find it.  It must be a hidden clause in my job description or something.  However, every once in a while I cannot be in two (or three or seven) places at once and the three boys are left to find things on their own.  If I don't keep all PJs in the same exact place (2nd drawer, right side, matched & sorted by style) or all church shoes in the correct basket then no one would know what to do with themselves.  And so I spend my time keeping everything organized in our family's chaotic style.  Very little time is left to spend on my own things.  But that's OK because I'm the only one that needs those things.  So as long as I remember where I put it, I can find it.  If I need a specific shirt, my chances are pretty good to find it between the belt hanging on the arm of the chair, under my jeans, next to that sweatshirt I wore last night.

And so today I tackled the chair.  It felt good to get all my clothes back to their actual homes and I even found a pair of shorts mixed in there.  The embarrassing part was when I could not remember the last time I wore shorts.  Yikes.

Monday, November 15, 2010

We are weird. I think that sums it up.

Remember those underwear heads from before?  Well that was not the last time that happened.  This time was even when people could see... oh my.  The May before we bought our house (literally right before we decided we were ready to buy) Colby and his friend Cory built us a shed that we kept on our back patio.  Then we moved and it took us well over a year to make a plan and make it happen to get our shed off of our old patio.  It was always fun to knock on the new occupant's door and ask if we could grab something out of the shed that was on their patio.  Haha.  I'm just glad we always knew the people that lived there so it wasn't entirely awkward.  Anyway, this was the day we carried out our plan.  We hired a crane to come lift it off the patio and over the wash that ran behind the house.  We loaded it on a trailer and brought it home.  :)

These first few pictures are of my silly kids watching in amazement.  The others are of the process.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Too Much Fun

We just got done with a really fun evening with some of our greatest pals.  The LeBaron's are always a joy!  Ronnie helped us out and snapped a few family pics of us while we were out and up to no good.  I shot their family session too and we finished in record time I might add.  I'm thinking about creating a new package for a Speed Shoot.  I think husbands/dads will fork over any amount of dough to drastically cut down the length of a family session.  That's really a joke, but not a bad idea...  I'll really have to think on that one.  :)
I was excited to capture some photos with "that glowy light."  In the past I always over edit them to try and get the faces clear, but the photographers that I truly admire (whose backlit images always inspire me) don't do that so I'm giving it a try.  I'm letting the style shine through.  I love it!!!
 I love my hubby!

Lately Tyler makes the funniest face when he's excited.  Its the same face my little sister Megan used to make when she was this age.  I love it.  I also love the way Marshall encourages it.  We were just telling him that when we were done taking pictures we'd go home and watch the "dragon movie" (How to Train Your Dragon).  Tyler loves the "dragon movie."
(Yes... I realize I'm making a weird face... but the whole moment by the door was way too funny to leave out.  I think you had to be there to appreciate my squishy, laughing face.)

My favorite thing about hanging out with the LeBaron's is there's never a shortage of laughs.  Ronnie and I have been good friends for YEARS and he married the sweetest, funnest girl ever!!!  I love that Colby and Ronnie get along so well because Ronnie is still one of my best friends from high school.  One time when we were hanging out with a bunch of Sam's old friends they all thought Ronnie and Colby were brothers because they were so much alike.  It's true too... you gotta watch out when these two get together.  Colby can sometimes be a lot to handle.  Imagine what its like with two of him around.  It's way better than you could just imagine.  We're gonna miss them when they move to China in January. 
Thanks for the laughs you guys.  And the great company!  And the pretty photos.  :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Attack of the Balls

I know Colby is going to snicker when he reads the title of this post.  Oh well.  

One day Colby brought home a HUGE bag of these plastic balls.  Who knows where they came from, but they were picked up on a job and left at the shop for half of forever.  Colby decided they'd do more good at our house so he brought them home.  I'm not going to sugar coat it, I was totally bugged.  What was I going to do with all of these?  How could we ever actually use them?  There was nothing I could do about it though, the kids saw them first, so I had to learn to live with them. 

They were all dirty and dusty so the first item of business was to wash them.  I let the kids get in with them once they were given an initial rinse.  The boys loved it.  I think we may have to have another ball bath sometime.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's Decided

Whenever it is that I start revamping my wardrobe...
it will take major cues from this delightful blog I just discovered.  
Please enjoy The Daybook.
I'm loving her style!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Get Ready

Underwear is all the rage at our house lately.  It's the accessory of choice every time these boys get dressed.  I'm afraid if I let Marshall choose what he was going to wear each day he might sport a hat of this sort a lot.  

It's been fun to watch Tyler get excited about things Marshall likes and underwear has been no exception.  From time to time he insists that he gets to wear underwear too.  I slip it on over his diaper and he thinks he's as cool as his big bro.  Which got me thinking about potty training.  If he sees or hears about anyone else needing to use the potty he's right there next in line for his turn.  He's yet to be successful on actually going... but at least he's excited about it and has an interest.  And so I decided...
...Tyler's turn for potty training is quickly approaching!
Can you sense the excitement?
Many would probably say I'm crazy because he's so young, but he's showing many signs of readiness so we're gonna give it a whirl.  When we potty trained Marshall we used the 3daypottytraining method and that book is like the Bible of potty training books.  It has given me so much confidence on this matter and I'm excited to try it out on round number two.  I think I'm gonna wait until after Thanksgiving though... we're going to have a whirlwind of a week that week and I'd hate to hit a few speed bumps along the way.

And the frosting on the cake is we get to take diapers out of our budget!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Backyard Fun

Let's be honest, I'm posting this almost an entire year later (the holidays just got too busy to keep the blog updated).  I'm post dating this so it fits in chronologically, but the remarks will be from my current perspective looking back.

We were getting under way with our back yard plans.  We had just a little more dirt to bring in and level before we were ready to put up the block wall along the back of the property.  I honestly forgot what it used to look like.  We're so glad to have our wall now.  Although I wish we had put in a gate to our neighbors to the northwest.  It's so much more complicated to walk around the block to see them now and it happens far too little.  These piles were sitting there and Colby thought he'd make something fun for the boys.
Introducing... the temporary fort.
The boys thought it was awesome!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

When I'm Old

So... the other night I had an interesting series of thoughts all in about three seconds.  Let me see if I can walk you through them.

Grandparents. Love them. Grandpa Stratton. Missing him. His hugs. They made me smile. His smile. You could feel his smile when he hugged you. He had a unique warmth to his hugs. I want to be like that. I am going to be the "warmest" old lady you'll ever meet.

I concluded I want to be the old lady that makes anyone and everyone feel special.  I loved the way Grandpa made me feel like one of his own- even though I was only a part of his life and family for these last five short years.  When he'd hug me I could feel a special kind of love coming from him... unconditional and practically tangible.  I've determined that I am going to practice this skill until it is natural for me.  I want people to feel an appreciation from me even if I never say a word about it.  Not that I'm scared to vocalize those feelings... it's just that I have met very few people that could make me feel so good about myself and what I'm doing like Grandpa would.  He didn't have to say a whole lot to make me, and all of us, feel good about myself.  He'd always mention at least once that he had the prettiest girls and he'd always remind me to take care of myself and my boys (I always felt like Colby was included in "my boys").  It didn't take much... and here I am thinking he had a special gift to make us feel special.  But I think the gift was found in the way he simply felt we were important.  And that feeling could really come through.  All in all, I think that's what I want to possess.  That gift to simply make someone feel important without making a big deal about it.

It's funny.  I've thought a lot about my relationship with Grandpa Stratton and wondered why he impacted me so much.  I have some of the greatest grandparents in the whole world.  I LOVE my grandmas dearly.  Both have always told me how dear I am to them.  My Grandma Anja has always called me her "Number One" because I was her first grandchild and I'm pretty sure I'm the coolest one ever.  Wink, wink.  She was a single mom for many years and did her best to provide for her family.  Now that I'm a mom, I can't even imagine having to carry the burden of being the head of the household AND the mommy.  My Grandma Goettsche is another great example of strength to me.  She had eight children, seven of them boys, and to have raised that many wild children and live to tell the tales... that's incredible.  She was widowed rather early and has kept up on her own still devoted to her only love.  I have a deep respect for her and her love of my Grandpa.  She let me live with her for the summer after I graduated high school and we created a special connection.  I never had the chance to get to know my own grandpas.  My Grandpa Vargas passed away when my mom was on her mission and my Grandpa Goettsche passed away when I was only one.  I've still learned some great lessons from these men because there have been some great stories shared.  One might think I really missed out, but I was blessed with a "step" grandpa that has always loved me 110% and I him.  He's a great example of friendliness and patience. 

When Colby and I got married I knew a whole ton of great things were in store for me.  Something I underestimated was the love of his family though.  His grandparents especially.  Of course I knew they loved me but now I have times that I think I'm more loved than even Colby and that's a hard spot to beat.  Haha...  All joking aside, I'm so grateful for all of my grandparents.  All nine of them.  And sometimes you can't truly appreciate the things you have until they're gone.  And so I commit to becoming the greatest, sweetest, most loving old lady ever.  That way there will never be shortage of good feelings about me when I'm gone someday...

Tyler the Candy Monster

Tyler is quite the kid.  He has a radar for sweets and today he found a theater size box of nerds and helped himself... all over the family room floor.  They were such a pain to vacuum.  They just kept popping up from the pressure and friction rather than sit still and get sucked up.  Haha.  Tyler loved it though.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Blue Springs Reservoir

This fall Blue Springs had to be drained in order to repair the head gate.  We headed up one afternoon when Colby and his dad were going to be diving and working on some of it.  I snapped some pictures of the water level in order to show Chase (since he's halfway across the world on his mission) but they don't seem to do it justice.  The water was so low! and it got even lower once they were able to pull the head gate.  Too bad I never got pictures of that.

I couldn't decide which photos showed it best, so I've posted two.

The boys with Colby before he went in and got COLD!

Craig is the one in already... Colby's about to go.

Here's the encouraging, relatively warm crowd.

I wonder what the water temp was... since it was November and all.