Wednesday, November 30, 2011

the end of november, really?

it’s is hard for me to believe that november is pretty much over.  I mean, it went by so fast!  it helped that I was a single mother for nearly half of it.  those were days that I prayed would pass quickly.

so here we are, at the end of the thankful train.  not sure I got out all that I was thankful for, I know I didn’t post every day like I wanted to.  but hey, there is always next year, right?

I am thankful for the gifts and talents I have been blessed with.  there are many things I enjoy doing, and most of those things are to the credit of others teaching me how to do them.  I am thankful for many creative people in an inspirational world, who share, teach, and inspire me daily.

here’s a couple of layouts with products from some pretty amazing talented women.

(click on images for full credits.)



so if you love what you see, there is a pretty amazing sale going on at jessica sprague.  save up to 35% on product and 20% on classes (even the new ones)!!  they would make some pretty fun gifts..  for you or someone you love.


not to mention a FREE holiday class.  she does this every year!  how sweet..  it starts monday, so go register!


(click here to register.)

now go tell your friends!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

not so great with the follow-through.

so I realized, I said I was going to catch up on the picture-posting, and well, I haven’t.

I could toss out any number of excuses, the effects of a head cold, the effects of little people when they are sick, holidays, houses, global warming..

but really?  like any of those have stopped me?

(okay, maybe a couple have aided me in my failure..)

so I am going to attempt to rectify this situation.  and I will do you one better than that, I will even get a thankful thing out too!

what better way to start than to start off with my best friend.  mostly because she is my best friend, but secondly because she is amazing, and so is her family.  and then, well, because she is my best friend.

I am so thankful (if you can’t tell already) that she is part of my life.  I am so thankful to have her right next door pretty much any time I need her, or anytime I just want to be near her.  she was my sanity while merrill was gone for two weeks (far, far too long a period of time for that man to be absent), and she has been the sidekick to many of my creative projects (many of which were undertaken while merrill was gone).  she is there to listen to me, talk me off of a cliff, ledge, or any other bad spot in life.  we laugh a lot and she never makes me feel guilty about my choice in food groups (sugar anyone?).  my family loves her.  partly because she notifies me when our favorites have gone on sale at a local store, but mostly because she helps me maintain my sanity.

I am thankful for her family too.  I love her kids!  we enjoy double dating when we can, and love getting our families together (although it has been a while..).

I am thankful that she asked me to snap some new family pics this fall.  it is always a good time with them.  it is quite an honor to capture a family, especially when it is one I love so much!

love ya ju!!

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

little lynnie turns 9.

I was a little (and to say a little, is totally understating it) shocked to think that it has really been 9 years since this kid has entered our lives.


I like to relive every moment of her entering our world, reliving that moment when she made me a mom.

gosh that was awesome!

today, I am thankful for her.  she is turning into such a little lady!  I mean, she really was all along.  sure, she had her dinosaur phase, her super-hero phase, but all the while, underneath it all, she has been a girlie girl.  she called lip-gloss and lipstick, “glip-gloss” and “yip-stick” for the longest time.  she never went anywhere without it.  still doesn’t.


lynn, I love that you love to read, even if it is four different books at a time.  I love that you sing, no matter what.  even if your friends (or family) give you weird looks, you belt it out.  you are silly.  I love it when you are tired, and something really tickles that funny bone of yours.  that giggle is awesome!  I will buy you orbit gum just to hear you do your own version of an orbit commercial.  that giggle again…


I am thankful that you are such a great help with your younger sisters.  I am so happy to see you take peyton and give her make-overs.  I love seeing that special relationship that you have with her.  I am so happy that you and ashley are so close.  even on the worst days, when you two swear that you will never play with the other one ever again, we can find you two snuggled up together in one of your beds.  sometimes you are even asleep!  you have inherited my gift of gab, and it is quite entertaining to have you talk, non-stop, as soon as you are in the door after school.  I love that you have also inherited my love of carbs.  a roll with butter should be considered part of every meal, especially your sack lunch (which is a sandwich, drink, sometimes chips, and cookies).  I am thankful that you give everything your best, that you can be so stressed over an up-coming test, but you get 100s like it’s nothing.  you give it your all.  I know that you and your dad are best buddies, you almost couldn’t survive with him gone for two weeks, but I am thankful for the relationship that we have and that is growing everyday.


I am thankful that it was you who grew in my belly first.  you that we get to practice all of our parenting skills on.  I am thankful that you are such a good kid, and we don’t have to practice too many things on you (ashley bears the brunt of that, that darn kid).  I am thankful for your bedtime kisses, your spontaneous hugs, even though the top of your head is getting ever closer to mine…


I am thankful for how persistent you are at everything you do.  even if that means practicing your cartwheels inside the house, in the family room, when I have asked you not to, repeatedly.  but you don’t give up!

besides the fact that you look just like your dad, you were meant to come to this family, and I am thankful, above all, to a loving heavenly father who trusts me (somehow) to be your mother. 


I love you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

a funny story to tell.

so I will get to a funny story in a minute, I ought to catch up on those thankful bits and pieces.
- so thankful for date-in nights with merrill.  chinese take-out and a flick, time with him, awesome.  I should also note that nachos and and a flick on upstairs in the loft for the kiddos is a necessary addition to that awesome date night equation.
- sundays at home with the family.  all is quiet in the house, and we just get to be together.
- I am thankful for the talents I have, for the information that is available for me to add to those talents, to strengthen them.
- I am thankful for two days of school this week!!!  (although I am questioning if I will make it through…)
- I am thankful for this time of the year, for the holidays, the coziness of home, the baking…  having everyone together.
so here’s a funny story:
a friend of mine from school asked if I would take some family pictures for her.  I have taken her boys pictures a couple (here and here) of times already, and they are hilarious!!  I would just love to photograph ryker’s expressions and drake’s eyes all day long….  anyway, she wanted an orchard, but we were coming up short on an awesome orchard, so we opted for some old (or not so old?) tracks up the canyon.  I have been there MANY times, and have only seen a train once.  no problems.
we were not on the tracks (at the time) but a little close, and we had an engineer yelling at us and blaring his train horn.  how could we tell he was yelling you might ask?  head, hanging out of the window, arms flailing, mouth going..  he was yelling.
we continued on with our little shoot only to have a union pacific official come to visit us, make sure we were being safe and give us a heads up that the engineer was calling the sheriff. 
our shoot ended a bit prematurely.
now I am not downplaying the safety issue or anything.  I felt like we were in a safe spot, like I want to kill my friends?  but I do understand how these guys would be extra nervous what with all the accidents that have been going on with trains+people lately.  I would be ticked too.
so we had to do part two.
just a few of my favs:
(and by few, I really mean more than a few.)

Friday, November 18, 2011

a few things to be thankful for…

- the snow falling right this second.

- a husband to back me up when my voice doesn’t sound stern enough.

- tissues.

- triaminic (in both the day time and night formulas).

- bubble baths.

- my new, uber-organized laundry room (it’s awesome I tell you).

- three little girls, who, despite being sick, and all of them being home, are pretty alright.

- cousins who share their babies with me, especially their milestones.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

it’s like christmas at the pitcher house.


it started with snow, and then I started in with the christmas tunes, and movies (and for all the bah-humbuggers/grinches, I have a totally valid argument for that, to come later..), and then the scentsy scents, and well, the best present of all…

merrill came home!!!

(it was only two weeks…  two very long, much TOO long weeks.)

I found ways to kill time..

painting a couple of rooms.

re-doing my picture wall. 

painting a bookcase in the living room.

re-arranging/re-working a couple of rooms.

taking apart and fixing my dryer.

a couple of photo shoots (one in which we had to leave quickly, before the sheriff arrived).

editing photos.

(which I need to catch up on posting, like desperately.)

playing with the girls.

playing just dance with the girls.

watching movies with the girls.

putting little girls to bed early so my brain and emotions could have a release.

and some scrapping…

exciting news at jessica sprague:

pink paislee has joined the ranks of awesome designers there!!


darling stuff there..

(click on layouts for full credits.)

and then there is some new lovely goods from miss samantha walker.

the name of the paper pack I used for this layout is “foundations gray baby”.

and well, if you know me, ever been to my house, you’d know just how much I adore babies and the color gray.  I would have painted the whole first floor of my house gray while merrill was gone if I could have also refinished the cabinets.

(but I am not that crazy.)


I will have to post pictures of what I did while the husband was away (for far too long I might remind you again..) soon.

so to catch up on the thankfulness:


so very thankful that I have lovely pictures of the temple to display in my home.  so thankful to have them so abundantly and so near us.


I am thankful for my body, for my health and strength, and ability.  thankful for the fun (and exercise, and sometimes bruises) I get with good girlfriends playing volleyball.  (BEAM!!)

I am thankful for the snow today, and for the “elf” soundtrack.  (I will really have to get into my completely valid reasons why christmas is coming before thanksgiving in this house.)

I am thankful for red bull.  you see, I was awake at 5:45 and could NOT go back to sleep.  I was excited for volleyball, thinking of the finishing touches for a few projects, and mostly because merrill was coming home that night.(!!!!)

no napping.  too excited for napping.  thankful for red bull.

I didn’t tell the girls about merrill coming home until an hour before we left to get him from the airport.  their squeals of delight were awesome (and reminded me why I waited to tell them).  I was so thankful, that despite the snow, and many accidents throughout the day, we made it to the airport safely and in time.

that reunion was so sweet!

so thankful that he made it home, because if he hadn’t, I would have lost it.

for real.


so thankful to have my WHOLE family under the same roof to enjoy the evening.  incredibly thankful for the many prayers that were answered over the course of our two (way too long) weeks.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I think bonus is the word of the day.

so here I am, at the end of the day, not one, not two, nope, not even three days later.

today I am thankful for things that one might call shallow.  but aren’t all things in life that either make life easier, us happier, blessings?

that’s what I thought.

so I am going to count them one by one.

so today I am thankful for the ogden rescue mission’s thrift store.  I found a nightstand for peyton’s little room and I scored a bonus chair!  (merrill will undoubtedly shake his head at yet, another chair.  this one has taken on a new identity of glossy black!)  bonus on top of that bonus, my purchase was an additional 25% off the marked prices!  bonus bonus.

I needed something to go by her bedside to hold a few special items and I didn’t want it to be just anything, I also wanted it to be a certain color.  so there ya go.  thrifty finds!

(I am still kicking myself for not buying a small statue for $7 that was of a couple, the woman sitting in a man’s lap, they were passionately making out.  would love to have that in my boudoir!)

the other thing I am thankful for is my introduction to polycrylic top coat spray.  I recently heard that polyurethane yellows (gross) but polycrylic doesn’t, and as a bonus, it is more durable.  has a harder finish.

then, as I moved on from this miracle in a can, I was thinking I would get me some cans of white spray paint.  I wanted this nightstand to be high gloss.  I thought I knew just what I was going to get, when an extra tall can of glossy white spray paint grabbed my attention (and my heart as I would later discover).

high performance enamel.

professional results.  (bonus.)

high durability.  (bonus.)

high gloss.  (hello, bonus!)

dries in 15 minutes?!  (holy bonus of all bonuses!)

dude, you so had me at high performance enamel.

this stuff is amazing.

I am so thankful for it.

it makes a lovely combination with my polycrylic topcoat jobber.

so you see, these seem to be a bit shallow.  but you weren’t in my head, dwelling on a night table for my sweet youngest baby.  finding things that were waaaay too pricey and oh, so not right.  then to find this?  and you will remember, I am sure, the sweet baby is 3 going on 4, and well, we need high durability like lindsay lohan needs to rewind the past 6 years of her life (know what I mean?).

so answers indeed.

blessings all around!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

a little game we will call “catching up”.. and a funny story for your troubles.

that’s right, I promised a funny story (now it’s funny) if you can actually stick out this post of catching up on all that I happen to be thankful for.

let’s see…

saturday I was thankful for snow.  I wasn’t quite so thankful that it came and bent my poor tree nearly in half, but I was thankful for the great excuse to stay home, snap some first birthday pix of my cousins babies, then snuggle up with my girls and watch some “anne of green gables”.

what can I say, watching anne spelled with an “e” is a tradition with first snowfalls around here.

I was also thankful for the dryer parts that came in the mail, and the repaired dryer.  clothes are so much softer (aka not crispy) dried in a dryer versus on a hanger in my bedroom.

sunday I was just thankful that it was a sunday.  good heavens, I love that day!  I was also thankful for the little break I had from my single parenthood going to choir practice.  a half hour can do wonders for the sanity.

monday.  I am thankful for pink paint.  it is quite cheery.  I am also thankful for a best friend who let me borrow her paint rollers, because mine aren’t placed at my home at the moment, and she also let me borrow her body, her ears, she even dispensed comforting advice!

tuesday I found myself still grateful for the best friend, and a mom, who seemed to say all the same things that darn best friend had to say.

I am also thankful for south ogden fire department and a nice guy from questar gas company who made lovely company tuesday evening.

today, well today I am thankful that I have a perfectly pink, perfectly striped little girl room.  I am also thankful for a thoughtful mother-in-law who took the girlies to tumbling.  I am sure I will be thankful for nyquil in the next hour or so.

so you want a funny story?

(it’s funny now…)

last night, it was not feeling so hot.  tired, run-down, had a little headache that was partially crying induced, partially because a certain third grader was arguing over homework, and partially due to the single-parenting situation I have been in the last week and a half.

(but that last little part is a story all by itself.)

I was supposed to go to a birthday dinner for my sweet sister-in-law but wasn’t really feeling up to it, headache, sore throat, swollen eyes and all, so I opted out.

the evening was turning out to be not so bad.  peyton decided to fall asleep earlier than she should (thank you daylight savings time…) and I was anticipating her waking up thinking she had an awesome nap and would want to party all night long and allow me a little sleep.  as I was getting her ready for bed, trying to do it all slowly and calm like, to keep her asleep, the smoke/carbon monoxide detector starts to be annoying.

I pulled a stool over to see what the deal was.  it was the carbon monoxide half of the deal freaking out.  I pushed the middle tester button thingie (cause that is what it is technically called nowadays) and then all of them started going off.  like as in every one in my house!  well, except for the wall guy one in the basement.  that one didn’t go off.  but the rest were.  as I went to put the stool away and find something sharp to put in my ears, all went quiet.

I put the sharp object down (okay, not really, I didn’t grab one in the first place), and went on getting the small people in my house to bed.  right after we said bedtime prayers, the blasted thing started going off again.


I decided to play it safe and such, seeing as I am kinda solely in charge of these kiddos, and merrill said he would not be replacing any of them if something happened, got coats on them, all zippered up and hoods on, bundled them up in blankets and sent them out to the front porch while I tried to find a non-emergency number for the fire department.

that was pleasant.  alarm going off, and I cannot seem to find the location of that number.  so I call my trusty neighbor, the one who is my best friend and lets me borrow lots of stuff. 

so I call the non-emergency dispatch number.  it refers me to another non-emergency dispatch number.  once I finally got a call in to the right non-emergency dispatch, they started asking all the typical carbon monoxide related questions:

“is anybody feeling ill?”

“well, I have a headache, but I know it’s crying related.”

“is there anybody else with you in the home?”

“yes.  three children.”

“get them outside immediately.”

“they already are.”

“good.  we need to verify your address and then you need to disconnect with me and evacuate the home.”

after I verified the address three times, and evacuated the home, I went outside to sit with the girls.  they were having the time of their lives.

it had to have been 20-something degrees.

they were so happy though.

we waited a few minutes and then watched as the fire engine passed our house.

then a police car.

then the police car came back, shined his spotlight on us and asked, “are you the ones who called about carbon monoxide detectors going off?”


(okay, so I said yes.)

he radioed for the fire engine to come back.  apparently, despite verifying my address three times, dispatch got it wrong.  while waiting for the fire engine to arrive, we then had a lengthy discussion as to whether I am a south ogden resident or a resident of unincorporated weber county.

it was ridiculous.

dispatch radioed back the correct address and added, “that’s in south ogden.”


(he was a really nice guy though.)

he asked the girls if any of them were feeling sick, and ashley piped-up, “I am.  I am sick of hearing that thing!”  isn’t she fantastic?

everyone was so cute with the girls, and they were equally cute with them.  the declined to sit in the back of the patrol car and the fire engine.  they were having fun after all.

after checking our house with their equipment, they couldn’t find any carbon monoxide, but the detector wouldn’t stop.  so they called out the gas company.

while waiting for him to show, they let us back in the house and they tried to get the thing to stop.  they eventually did by swapping it with another one in the house.

apparently I jinxed them.  we have two nursing/assisted living facilities right down the street, and they are there all. the. time.  so I matter-of-factly stated how it must be nice having a call to help out some people on the other end of the age spectrum.  they all groaned.  “you jinxed us!!  we haven’t had to go there yet today!  we are usually there 3 to 4 times a day.  now we’ll get a call at 3 am, and when we do, we are going to toilet paper your house.”

see, they were fun.

when he finally got there, he asked if there was anything gas on the main level, I replied with, “a little girl in that first bedroom.”  and, well, it’s true.

there was nothing wrong, all they could figure was the sensors are going bad in our detectors.

did you know that you are supposed to replace them every seven years?  well, now you do, just like I do now.

I was also warned that our water heater is going to “blow”.  isn’t that fantastic?

I blame it all on merrill.  had he been home, instead of in the caribbean, none of this would have happened.  but he would claim the opposite.  he would tell me that it all happened because the universe knew it was his house.

you see, he has a bit of a persecution complex going on.  when things don’t work out the way he thinks they should, it’s because it is him.

buy a tv and the sleep timer doesn’t work, it’s because HE bought it.

want prime rib at a restaurant and they are out, it’s because HE is the one asking for it.

if our little family had been incorporated at the time color tv was invented, we would most certainly purchased a new color set the day they came out.  we would have brought it home, plugged it in, turned it on, and it would have been in black and white.

that’s my boy.

so that leads us to today.  I am thankful that those darn detectors have remained quiet.  I am also thankful that someone bought a calling card in aruba, and called.  finally.  it has been four days.

I bet you are thankful that my little (okay, not so little) story is done?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Days three and four.

I have so gratitude to catch up on! 

I am thankful for a working washer, one that doesn’t leak.

I am thankful for family, family that lives so close, family that I can spend time with, get support from.  A family that we have a lot of fun with.

I am thankful that my kids have cousins as their best friends.

I am thankful that we got to talk to Merrill today.  Two days with only a few texts as communication leads to weird/bad dreams.  The girls were so happy to talk to him.

I am thankful for my kids, to be able to look back on their little lives and to have so many memories of them.  I wish I were better at recording them..

As I took down the picture frames from our staircase to update the pictures, I got to go through the years of pictures underneath the most current one.  They go back eight years.  It was a little tearful, but I am so thankful for the blessings they are in my life!

Even though I love them like crazy, I was also thankful to have my best friend’s husband offer to come and sit with them as they slept last night so I could get out and play volleyball.

I am also thankful for this time of the year.  There is a feeling about our home as the weather turns.  We draw closer together.  It’s quite cozy.

On this snowy night, I am thankful that there is no school tomorrow, and the girls and I are snuggled up in my bed together enjoying a movie.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I can think of many things to be thankful for today..

My super, extra-large, gargantuan clothes dryer.  (aka my bedroom.)  It only takes clothing 12 hours to dry.  But seriously, at least I have someplace to hang it all, and the hangers to hang them on, to hang them all on those chairs and drawers..

Maybe I should be thankful for my little collection of chairs as well.  Drawers too.

I am also thankful that it was half day (more time with the kiddos).

Thankful for my best friend who was able to take care of my oldest child today while I went to Lowe’s for the second time in one day.

Thankful that Lynn got her homework packet done with minimal threats on my behalf.

Thankful to have such great tumbling teachers!  The girls LOVE it.  Peyton cries because her class hasn’t started yet, but grandma finds a way to sneak in a turn for her.  I love seeing them learn and grow, and the stretching, that stretching is just too cute!

Well, while I am being honest here, I am thankful for bedtime just as much as I am thankful for the half day of school.

But really, in all, complete and utter seriousness, I am most thankful to have been able to spend time with my mom today.

We got to go shopping, looking at new washers.  Honestly, new washers are so exciting!  We talked and talked, and we seem to never have enough time to say all there is to say..  and that is with almost daily phone calls.

We enjoyed lunch and running other errands.

But these are rare days, these days when I get to spend such time with my mom.

Sometimes, I get homesick for the days before school started for the girls, when life was more relaxed.  I would load up whatever children I had, and head out to mom’s for the day.  We would sit and quilt, crochet, play with the girls, make lunch (and you know it always tastes better because mom made it..).  The day wouldn’t end until grandma and grandpa would come for dinner.  Then I would pack my kiddos up, and we would head home to start our own dinner.

I miss those days.

But I had one pretty close to those kind today.

Thanks mom!!  I love you.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

another month of thankfulness.

last year, I made a point to find something to be thankful for everyday for the month of november.  it was a rather good thing, and something I rather looked forward to doing again this year.

so here goes!

today I am thankful for know-how.  for what my parents have taught me.  I am also thankful for the internet, which aided me, and my know-how, in my pursuit to fix my dryer.  I took it apart today in an attempt to fix it’s problem, leaving gray and sometimes black streaks on my clothes (grrrrr…).  I think I will have also sped up the drying time, you know, once the part I need gets here, gets put in, and the whole she-bang is up and at them again.

I am thankful for the spirit, which prompted a friend to call me for help.  a crying baby is something that I can easily help with, and it gave me a little break from two, un-named, rambunctious girls of mine…

speaking of them…

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I am pretty darn thankful for them too.

(especially when one farts, just to get the others to smile and laugh for a picture.)