Thursday, July 31, 2008

As I lay ... awake

Yes, it is now 2:20am and I cannot sleep. You would think that having the inspections pass and approved by both parties would give me a night of good sleep. But no. The minute after laying my head down on my comfy feather pillow and saying a prayer, my eyes popped wide open and are refusing to close. My mind it seems wants to join my eyes in "Awake" mode and millions of things are tumbling through my mind. Lists of things to do for this house. Lists of things to do for the new house. Lists of things to do for Bear Lake with Ryan's family this weekend. Lists of cleaning. Lists for packing all our stuff (stuff is the nice word) into boxes. And the Lists (augh - no more LISTS!!!) go on and on.

Seriously I just want to get some sleep. I haven't slept well since July 12th. Maybe it's because everything with the sale of our home is beginning to sink in. And I'll admit that I've cried a little the past couple weeks. Not in a bad way. Tears of joy that the house is pretty much sold (we still have the appraisal to do, but inspections are all done). But also tears of sadness, for everytime I walk into a room all sorts or memories pop into my head and then they manifest themselves visually when I try to sleep. So I just toss and turn most night's these days mulling everything over in my head. I guess it's a little hard for me to realize that I won't be here 3 weeks from now and this is my minds way of trying to capture and remember our time here. I feel like a big part of me is this home. I know it's silly to think a home defines a person because it's usually the other way around, but in a way this home does define me. It's a security blanket of sorts, a source of pride and a sign of my independence. I mean, we bought this house all by ourselves as working newlyweds and soon the reigns to it will be turned over to someone else. And that is a little scary to me. And I feel like a little part of me is slowly being ripped apart. Silly me getting all sentimental about a house at 2:30 in the morning.

Don't get me wrong. I know that it was the right time and decision for our family. It's been the best first home I could ask for.

I guess now I'll start the process of packing. I told myself I wasn't going to pack until the inspections were all done and the repairs agreed upon. As that was officially accomplished today I guess it's time to get down & dirty. So if anyone has empty boxes lying around, please, I'd love to borrow/use/take them off your hands. I promise I won't make you move them :) For now though, I guess I'll try and coax my tired eyes and mind to sleep.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Goo-goo for Harry Potter

Yes, I am a die-hard Harry Potter fan. I have read & own all the books, seen & own all the movies, and am counting the days until the movie comes out November 21st. I am not usually an opening day movie kinda gal. But all rules go out the window with Harry Potter. I am SOOOOOO excited that I'm giddy just thinking about it! So until November 21st I will resign myself to watching the newly released teaser/trailer 100 times a day. The best part is that lucky me, I have a hubby who is just as excited as I am (if not more - nah, not possible) about Harry Potter.

Watch the new teaser here:

Customer Service Surprise

You may remember my post from a couple months ago regarding Collegeworks Painting. Well, Ryan received a call last week from someone at the Collegeworks organization regarding my previously posted complaints about the service we received (didn't receive actually). After discussing the issue with Ryan, and offering up numerous apologies for what we had to deal with, they agreed to refund us $250. While not a huge amount, we are grateful that someone from the company acknowledged our concerns and were able to come up with a satisfactory solution. So, here's to Collegeworks for making a wrong right. We appreciate your understanding & concern.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"To market, to market ....

... to by a fat pig. Home again, home again, jiggety-jig-jig."

Last weekend we took the kids to the SLC Farmers Market downtown. Despite the heat, it was so much fun to pick out squash, zucchini, corn on the cob, basil, and fresh artisan bread for the coming week. Not only was the produce CHEAP, but it tasted so good. And the fresh squeezed limeade we drank to cool down made all the walking worth-while. And there were a couple booths that had great wares to buy (which of course I did). Here's some of the fun finds:

Cake stand (actually a vintage china plate mounted on top of a vintage wine glass). The little girls (little being around 12 years old) making these were so cute and I had to get one because yes, I will be making some of these in the near future. It's a great excuse to scour the vintage china stores here in Sugarhouse.

I also got a cute ponytail holder and little wallet/pouch for my ipod shuffle from another local gal who sells on etsy (Susan at Freshly Picked) and has a booth at the market. I bought some tools to do these ponytail holders for Berlin out of my scrap fabric, but it was nice to see one in person rather than just pics online.

I didn't get this apron at the market, but the cute gal I bought it from has an etsy store (
Victoria White & Co), has a booth at the market so I dropped by to say hi and say thanks. Her stuff is amazing so be sure to check her etsy store out. She was so sweet to give Berlin the polka dot bib for free.

So, hooray for the Farmer's Market. I am hoping that we'll be able to go a few more times this summer/fall. Of course, next time, we'll get there right at 8am instead of 11am.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Days of '47

July in Utah is one action-packed month. Not only are there parades and parties and fireworks for the 4th, but there are also such festivities for the 24th of July (aka: Pioneer Day - the day the pioneers came to Utah).

This year we celebrated by going to a Bees baseball game with my sister Valerie on the 23rd. The kids loved it (mostly the ballpark hot dogs, sodas and candy), but by the 11th inning they were getting restless and tired. Of course the Birth sporting curse prevailed and the team we went to cheer on lost, as is usual when we attend sporting events. But it was fun none-the-less.

On the 24th Ryan had the day off (I love state holidays) to hang out with us. That night we walked over by Liberty Park, which happens to be about 5 blocks away from our house, to watch the fireworks spectacular that they put on each year. We found a great spot on the sloped lawn of a nearby church and settled down for the next hour. Finley was well prepared with his binoculars, popcorn, and candy. I thought the loudness of it all would be a bit much for Berlin, but both of the kids LOVED it!!! And by the time it was over, they were tuckered out and ready for bed.

To the Pioneers that made the long trek to Utah ... thank you for your sacrifice, great faith, and spirit of perseverance.

and the WINNER is ...

SHELBY!!! I'll email you pics of the goodies later this week. You can choose from them or you can request something custom. I'm good either way.

Thanks to everyone who played. Maybe for my 200th post I'll choose 2 winners! Until then ...

(note: was used to pick the winner)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pork Chops with Bell Pepper Salsa

I have been wanting to try this for the last little while and finally did so last Friday. I thought I had a recipe for something similiar, but I couldn't find it so I came up with my own. It was FABULOUS & quick, which definitely means we'll be having it again. For those interested, here's the recipe below.
Also, don't forget to read my 100th post and comment for a chance on free blog candy!

Pork Chops with Bell Pepper Salsa

4 Boneless Pork Chops
Salt & Pepper & Canola Oil
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 english cucumber
2 tomatoes
1 bunch of cilantro
1 lime

Salsa: In medium sized bowl add the tomatoes, cucumbers and bell peppers all cut into small chunks. Squeeze the juice from the lime into the bowl. Chop cilantro (about 1/4 cup) and add to bowl. Flavor with salt and pepper. Stir together and set aside while you prepare the pork chop.

Pork: Heat your grill on high. While grill is heating up, pour a little canola oil on the pork chop (so it won't stick to the grill) and season with salt & pepper. Seer each side of chop on grill (about 2 - 3 minutes each side). Then turn grill down to Medium heat and cook another 4-5 minutes on each side (times will vary depending on your grill). Remove once done.

Here's how we served it up.

VARIATIONS: Slice the pork chop thinly and serve it on top of mixed greens, spinach, or shredded cabbage, then top with the bell pepper salsa and drizzle with light balsamic vinegrette (add thinly sliced red onions if you like).

If you try this recipe let me know how you like it! Happy Grilling!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Super Spectacular 100th Post & FREE blog candy!!!

Yep - it's our 100th post and to celebrate I'm offering free blog candy to those who respond with a super-fabulous & nice comment (cause we all need to hear something fabulous & nice about ourselves don't we?). You have one week from today (end of day July 26th) to respond. One lucky winner will get a handmade creation of their choosing from my arsenal of goodies.

* * * * *
Being our 100th post I thought I would save this exciting bit of information for the event:


Yes, that's right. We are moving. Our house is under contract and if the inspection goes well on Monday then we will have officially sold our home, and in record time (we listed it with the agent and 2 weeks later it was under contract). It is bitter-sweet of course. We have put so much work into it and I just love this home. But we know that we need something a little bigger in order for us to grow creatively (I want a room to sew and be crafty, and Ryan needs an art room to design, paint & illustrate). Though I will miss the neighborhood, I won't cry about leaving behind the next door neighbors to the West (no more S.W.A.T team raids at 2 in the morning).

Once we are moved into Peter's home (the house where Ryan grew up & where we had our wedding reception) I will send along our new address. We have to be out by August 22nd. But until then, here are pics of our sweet little abode (these are the pics from the home listing).

Monday, July 14, 2008

A little R&R on our Mini-Vacation

With gas and airline prices being what they are these days, our dreams of fun vacations to Baltimore and California to visit family have been put on the back burner. But I still wanted to have some sort of "vacation" that consisted of more than just a weekend. So we went up to the cabin on Wednesday evening after Ry got home from work and stayed thru Sunday evening. It was really fun, but I have to say there are a couple things I hated:

1. Deer Flies & Mosquitos (anything that bites). We got eaten alive. This is a picture of the deer fly that bit my wrist. It hurt so bad.

2. Cotton seed - the cotton trees have shed their fluff and it was everywhere. It was like Christmas in July. Unfortunately, there was so much of it blowing in the air that we couldn't just hang out on the deck, lounge in the hanging chairs, or play games on the lawn. Thus, we spent 4 days at the water just beaching it, taking walks, and playing at the park.

Of course, there was a bright side. The so called "public" access road that the cabin sits off of is no longer free. It now costs money to drive your vehicle onto the beach -FINALLY!!! It was still crowded but it definitely helped keep more people away. And the beach was finally being patrolled for tools who don't know how to follow the rules and who drive their 4-wheelers like morons.

But it was nice to be gone a little longer than usual. And as always, it's nice to be home.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Family Fun

We got to have a special play date on Wed. with my niece (K) while her big sister had minor surgery. Finley and K had so much fun. They played Market & Kitchen forever, then painted, colored, blew bubbles, read books, and finally had lunch at the park across the street. They were in heaven. And only after running around the tree planter at the park like 100 times did they decide that they were tired enough to come home and rest and watch a show (Toy Story).

About 10 minutes after my sister picked K up, Finley asked to go to K's house when daddy got home from work. I'm just guessing that he had a really good time playing with her :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hooray for Headbands!

When I found out we were having a girl, I was giddy with excitement thinking of all the cute ribbons, flower bands and barrettes she would wear in her hair. However, Berlin had other plans. From the get-go she really HATED anything that was around her head. Barettes she would tolerate, but all the cute headbands she hated! It was a sad day when I had to resign myself to her never wearing them.

Yet, the other day I was putting her too-small clothes away and came across some of her headbands and tempted fate by putting them on her head. She freaked out at first trying to get it off, but after putting it back on a couple times and telling her "Don't touch," then quickly distracting her, she actually left it on. I was so happy to see it last most of the day. All I can say is that I can't wait to make some more.

Here she is going about her day with the cutest little flower band.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Our 4th of July

yeah, so I'm not really on the ball and it's now the 9th and I'm just barely posting about the 4th.

We aren't really parade people so we avoided anything and everything downtown and instead went to the zoo with the kids per Finn's request. It was actually the perfect day to go. The animals were great, the weather decent (hot, but partly cloudy), and there weren't any crowds. It was actually quite barren compared to the crowds during the week. The zoo just opened their new Conservation Carousel and so we took the kids on it. Finley went first and was a bit nervous about the animals so he made Ryan sit on the bench with him. After his turn I took Berlin on and she chose the giraffe. Giraffes are her favorite animal at the zoo these days. She was a bit concerned at first, but once the wheel started she said, "Weeeee" the whole time. And of course after Finley saw Berlin go around on an animal he wanted to go again, and shed some tears when we said that he'd have to wait until next time because he'd already had his turn.

After the zoo we came home ate lunch, took naps, then walked to the Gelatto shop just up the street, then over to the little park across the street from our house and ate the gelatto while the kids played on the playground. Finley was very excited to see the fireworks so he and Ryan walked up to our church and watched the Sugarhouse Park fireworks show from the lawn while I stayed home and put Berlin to bed.

All-in-all it was super low-key. Just the way I like it. In fact it was perfect.

Bag Tag

So I thought that I had posted this last week when I actually took the picture of my purse/diaper bag, but apparently I only saved it and just noticed it's been sitting patiently - waiting to be published. So, this is my bag as of last week:

I do not have a separate "going out" purse. For me, it's just the diaper bag. That said, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my bag. It's a Mia Bossi diaper bag that I saw on the Ellen DeGeneres Baby Shower show right after Berlin was born and knew I had to have it. So I scoured eBay (thanks to my sister Shauna for that tip since she found one in the red/black combo there) for 4 MONTHS before I found one at a steal of a price (It has an X on the tag because it has little blemishes on one of the leather straps and can't be returned to any store). But I don't care cause you'd never know by looking at it.

So what's in the bag ???

1. pair of pj's that needed to be returned to Ryan's step-sister after borrowing them when Berlin leaked thru her Sunday dress on Father's Day while celebrating with his dad.

2. Some bills to drop in the mail, wallet and a checkbook holder

3. Gum (Ryan's) & breath mints (Mine) ... I HATE gum because I think it's a gross & dirty American habit. And noone ever puts it in the trash and I always seem to be the one to step in it. But Ryan likes it so I have it in the bag as backup for him.

4. Vanilla Mint Chapstick (my all-time fave must-have), baby kisses lip-balm (for Finns dry lips), hand sanitizer and 50+ SPF sunscreen for the kids.

5. Crayons, notepad with receipts all shoved in it, pen, Diaper, Pull-up, Wipes, changing pad

6. Sunglasses and bobby pins, a ribbon headband (Berlin's), and a cute little Russian doll zip case with feminine needs.

7. Snacks: Dried Strawberries and Bananas, Fiber One bar (mine), Honey wheat pretzels, and Fruit loop cereal, Japanese Hi-Chew candy.

So what's missing from my bag???
Usually I have my cell phone and camera in there but who knows where those are when I took the pic. I'm sure Berlin or Finley had been playing with them earlier. And sippy cups. I always have to carry sippy cups with me because my kids without fail ALWAYS ask for a drink 5 minutes after getting in the car and on the road. I'm going to bet that they are probably in the fridge when I took the pic cause really, warm milk? Gross.

I tag anyone who has the time and isn't embarrassed by what's in their bag.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Rub a dub dub

there's an artist in my tub!

Finley recently received some bathtub paints from his cousins in Baltimore and he LOVES them. And once he realized that he could get paint on himself without me freaking out, well, let's just say they have become the favorite bath-time activity. Here's a pic of his body & tub art - don't you just love the murky bathwater?

It's Coming!!!

Our 100th post will soon be here! In anticipation of that I am going to be offering some blog candy. Why you might ask? Cause it's the thing to do apparently and honestly, who doesn't love to give away (and get) free stuff!

So, keep checking our blog for our 100th post. When you see it (it will be obvious folks) be sure to leave me a comment and you'll be entered into the totally random drawing. You could be one of 2 lucky people to win something from my growing arsenal of recent crafts, quilting, or sewing projects. And trust me, I have some pretty dang cute stuff these days :)

On a totally different note, here are pics of the kids at the playground:

(Finn LOVES the tunnel)