Tuesday, November 30, 2010

On The Edge Of A Cliff

A while ago, Halloween weekend, in fact, Scott, Jon, Jorg and I went shooting. We drove up Farmington canyon until the poor little Focus got stuck in the snow, and found a perfect spot to set up targets.

I don't think Jorg had ever been shooting before, so Scott gave him a lesson in gun safety and then we all shot some rounds from each gun we brought, using old bottles as targets.

I was stupid and didn't account for the fact that if you drive up the elevation increases and the temperature decreases...so I didn't have a coat, but just a sweater. I got cold and went to sit in the nice, warm car after a while, and soon Jorg joined me. Even though it was cold, it was still fun.

On the way back down when we were finished I got a decent shot of the view over the valley. Utah is generally a pretty place, even when it's brown.

And, of course, because driving down narrow, slippery switchbacks all the way down the mountain wasn't scary enough, the boys all got out of the car and stood on the edge of a cliff and gave me an aneurysm. What you can't see in the picture is the dead cars at the bottom of the cliff. Yep.

But, nobody died, so I really can't complain.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Honestly, There Were More Marshmallows Than Fruit

I didn't have an opportunity to do a Thanksgiving post...oh, who am I kidding, I had many MANY opportunities, but almost my entire weekend was spent curled up on the couch with my favorite fuzzy purple blankie working on the blanket for Mim. I finished it ages ago, and it was too small, so I had asked Mim to expand the pattern for me, but she's so freaking busy that it didn't get done until I showed her what I had so far and she suggested I make it again and connect the two...but I'm going for broke and making four, and to make it fun I'm rotating what colors go where for each one. I made a spreadsheet. I love spreadsheets. We should get a room.


Lazy me.

At least my lazy times are still productive. I get blankets and socks and such out of it, so it's not a total waste of time.

So Thanksgiving. Usually Scott and I stay overnight a day or two at Mim's house, but Scott has allergies so in order to do that he has to be so totally stoned on all sorts of meds that it's not as fun. This year we decided to just head down to Mim's Thanksgiving morning and spend all day there. The holiday was spent cooking, eating, playing games, watching movies (do you know how adorable "Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs" is??), and just enjoying each other's company. No pressure, no schedules.

We ended up going to the store twice that morning because we kept forgetting things. One of them was butter, and there is just no way to do Thanksgiving without butter. Fortunately, I didn't have to make that trip...people in stores on holidays are generally freaking nuts.

We had our usual: turkey, cranberry sauce, marshmallow fruit salad, pie, more pie, mashed potatoes, butter corn, more marshmallow fruit salad...yum. Nothing weird. Everything was perfect. I do have a confession, though: I didn't eat any turkey. I wanted to have room for other, more important things, such as second portions of marshmallow fruit salad.

So that was about it. It was relaxing and awesome. I got to play with the baby and hug my brother and sisters. What more could I want?

So now for the cliche: a list of what I'm thankful for this year.
  • Family. Duh.
  • Especially Scott. Another duh.
  • The miracle of modern medicine, which enables me to experience emotions I never could before, while keeping the totally crappy emotions in check.
  • Egg nog. You knew it was coming.
  • My fabulous job. I make more than I need doing something I love. How many people can honestly say that?
  • My new kitchen, paid for with the money I make at my awesome job.
  • The ability to not eat french fries for more than six months this past year. I think I should go back to not eating them...
  • And on that note, I've been able to keep most of the weight I lost off. I am, however, mad at myself for gaining any of it back at all, but I'm continually working on making better food choices. Except when I'm not.
  • Being completely totally done with my Christmas shopping so I didn't even have to leave my house on Black Freaking Friday, the day when nice, normal people turn into demons.
Life is good, you know?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

No, Thank YOU

So one of the blogs I visit daily, PCL, did a post a few days ago for Thanksgiving and gave me a "Thank You For Blogging" award. AWESOME. It was super sweet of her to pick me, and the rules say I should pass the award on to four people, so I think I will do that. Four days late. What can I say? I'm enjoying my vacation weekend!

So I really do enjoy the blogosphere. That's what it's called, right? Anyway. It's given me the opportunity to make friends, explore new worlds, and improve my own writing. So here's a quick Thank You to a few of my favorite bloggers.

First up is, of course, PCL. I must return the favor! She writes about everything from music she gets stuck in her head to things that happen at home with The Mister and the cats and Rocky the Dog, and every times she writes anything she ties it in to some vast cosmic meaning and it makes me happy every weekday.

Next is a blog I recently discovered when poking around for new reading material: The Hindsight Letters. It's just fabulous. One of the regular features is a look back at things that were fashionable when the author was a teenager (and some of those were en vogue when I was a teen, as well) and HOO BOY I had totally forgotten most of those...probably for good reason! She, and her guests, write letters to their teenage selves, and there's no way to describe how awesome it is so go and click the link and you'll be hooked, I promise.

Although she doesn't post as often as I'd like (hint, hint), Heartsick and Headstrong is another awesome one I always read. How can you not embrace life and carpe diem and all that once you've had a heart attack? Her story is inspirational and she had the most adorable posts about her cat.

Fourth, my dear Miss Magnolia. She gets down and dirty with the nitty gritty of feelings, relationships, the past, trials (literally and figuratively...she's a lawyer)...just all sorts of things that make up the human experience. She has a way with words and she'll make you think about your own feelings and experiences.

An honorable mention, only because he's too swamped with traffic to check out my tiny little blog space, is Single Dad Laughing. He has a few really good posts, "power posts" he calls them, that everyone should check out sometime. They really make you think. Also, his kid is adorable. Also, he is obsessed with M&Ms.

I really love blogging. I love my bloggy friendships. I love having a way to share what's important to me with family and friends.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

There Are NO SEAMS, People!

Once upon a time we started remodeling our kitchen. In January. I think. Early this year, at any rate. Months and months later, I have an actual kitchen. Like, a real one, with working appliances and real countertops instead of plywood and everything except a floor...we'll get there.

Anyway, without further ado, I present to you the (almost) final kitchen pictures:

First up, we have a detail that we didn't pressure ourselves to finish until we'd had a good, long rest. It turns out, putting in a whole kitchen worth of cabinets wears you out and then you want to spend the next few weekends vegging on the couch, crocheting a blanket while you watch BSG, even though your wonderful husband did most of the work. SO, we left the crown moulding until later, but it looks awesome and gorgeous, and calculating the correct angles at which to cut the pieces was a...well it sucked. There were expletives. But it looks awesome:

Next up is a picture of the right side of my new kitchen, with the countertops installed and things placed strategically around the kitchen (microwave, blender, etc.):

And the left side:

Brand new kitchen and I've already got a mess going on the counter. Fabulous.

One of the best parts of getting acrylic countertops is the fully integrated sink, a.k.a. NO SEAMS FOR GUNK TO BUILD UP IN. That means less cleaning, and we all know I'm not really into cleaning.

Another view of the left side, right after the countertops were installed, before the mess began:

And, one of my very favorite details:

Shiny new stainless steel faucet. It will eventually match our appliances.

They will all be stainless steel, and all the handles will match all the handles on the cabinets. This is very important. Because I'm nuts.

But first we need a floor.

All in good time.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I'm Not Dead...

...I'm just covering for a coworker for several days, along with my own work, which equals long hours, no computer time during work, and then no motivation to get up off my butt when I get home because my feet hurt and my laptop is upstairs and I don't feel like getting it.

The end.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's Almost Useful!

When we had our cabinets delivered we stashed them in the garage, but the night before we wanted to start on them we pulled them all upstairs and they completely filled my living room so I couldn't get to anything, and for a little while we had Buster trapped in the corner (don't worry, we let him out eventually...ha). 

The first order of business was getting the upper cabinets on the walls. First up we had to fasten them together, so we put two or three together on the floor before we got them up onto the wall.

You have no idea how hard it is to get these things up properly. They have to be perfectly level and corners and sides have to line up perfectly or else it won't work. One trick Scott had for making them level was to build a ledger underneath where all the upper cabinets would be. We made the ledger perfectly level, and that made it WAY easier to hold the cabinets level while they were being screwed into the wall.

We had a bit of a problem when we went to put in the solitary cabinet by the window. I wanted an equal amount of wall space between the window and the cabinets on each side, but I also wanted the very end of the upper and lower cabinets to align vertically. That didn't add up, however, so I had to make the very difficult decision to have the ends align instead of equal space around the window.


So here we are with the large section of upper cabinets installed (sans doors). At this point it started to look like it might actually turn into a kitchen at some point.

After we got all the upper cabinets in we started on the lower cabinets. We started in the corner by the window. It took a long time to get it level and such because our floor is not level and our walls are not straight. But, we got there.

Next up was the sink base. This one was tricksy. It seemed that no matter how we arranged the shims it just wouldn't work. We worked on this for TWO HOURS. Two. Finally Scott and I were getting really really frustrated and we were starting to get snappy with each other and we decided we should take a break and go get snacks at Maverik. Scott and I went and left Mim at the house, and by the time we got back she had magically shimmed it HERSELF. In ten freaking minutes. Anyway, it was a victory.

Then we decided to double check our measurements before we moved on. Um. We were like 1.5" off...and the sink base was off center under the window. Thank you Home Depot, for giving us incomplete plans. There was supposed to be a spacer between the corner cabinet and the sink base...so we had to cut a spacer, take the whole sink base out, and start again. It was...disheartening. There was something awesome, though: once we got the spacer in, the sink base was centered under the window AND once we moved the upper cabinet to align vertically on the side, there was the same amount of space on each side of the window! Happy! Fortunately, after that the rest of the cabinets were a cinch.

After a long, LONG day, we got to the point where we could finish by ourselves, so Mim went home. I wanted to just quit for the night, but Scott thought that he might be in too much pain the next day (stupid back spasms) to get much done, so he wanted to do as much that night as possible.

Here is Scott, expressing how tired he was at this point. He will probably be mad that I posted this picture of him. That's too bad. It's funny.

So Scott started putting doors on the cabinets, while I put shelves inside them (and took pictures, obviously).

Just look at that gorgeous cherry color!

The next day we put hardware on, and that's about all we can do until our countertops get installed. So here's the (semi-) finished kitchen:

The appliances, eventually, will be stainless steel, but that's a long way in the future. We need to get a floor put in first!

The countertop dude came this past Friday and made a template for the countertops, and they will be delivered and installed this coming Friday. I'm really excited to spend that weekend organizing and cleaning up my kitchen!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Painting...A Few Weeks Ago

I am SO REMISS in posting about the house. It's been weeks since we painted...so here. I blame Daylight Savings Time.

When I was at Home Depot picking out paint colors, I narrowed it down to a few different combinations and brought the samples over to the cabinet section to hold them up against my cabinets. This was the best combo I found:

I LOVED it! The only problem was, I wanted to use the darkest color on one wall as an accent, the middle color everywhere else, and the lightest color for the trim, but I didn't know if the dark color was going to be too dark and make my huge front room look small. Fortunately, Home Depot has little baby sample paint jars, so I took them home and painted a few coats on my wall:

And then...I stared at them. For two days. It just seemed so...dark. I was looking for input from everyone I knew. Half of my friends and family said the darker color was too dark, and the other half said it would be fine (and dramatic) because it was such a large, well-lit room.

So I went online and read up as much as I could on multiple-color paint schemes, and on the Behr website you can plug in your colors to a sample room and see how they look, so I did:

And it looked fabulous there. But I was still worried about it. So when I went in to get my paint mixed, I asked if there were any way I could get the same colors but slightly lighter, and apparently they are magic and can mix colors at 50% or 75% saturation. I decided to go with 50%, because the employee said that if it wasn't dark enough I could bring the paint back and she would add in more color.

So we spent two days putting primer on the walls: two coats. The paint that was on the walls was very old, and we had to cover up all the new drywall, too, to ensure good adhesion with the new paint.

Here's Scott, with his primer war-paint on:

So cute.

Anyway, so after we got the primer on, Kwiddens, Scott and I started painting with the lighter color, and...it just looked...too pale. So, I took all the paint back to Home Depot and had them add more color, and when I got back and started painting it was PERFECT. So, we continued to paint, and got only one coat done each day because that room is HUGE and very tall, so Scott had to get onto the very top of our ladder to paint near the ceiling, and the whole thing made me very nervous because he wasn't holding on to anything at all.

Anyway, we got all the walls that would be behind cabinets and the half-wall done, and the color is beautiful, but my camera sucks so I couldn't really get any more good pictures (ok, I didn't try very hard...) but when I get the pictures of the cabinets up you will see how awesome it looks!

I still have the rest of the kitchen and living room to paint, but that can wait. I just need to make sure I get it done before we decided to put flooring in.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Learning Tunisian

So I've been experimenting lately with a new form of crochet (well, not new, but new to me) called Tunisian.

Basically, you use a hook with a long cord on the end and you go across and back, always with the right side of the fabric facing you, unlike regular crochet, where you turn the fabric every row.

It's a cross between knitting and crocheting, if you ask me. In fact, there are ways to make it look just like knitting, if you're using the right stitches.

So, being me, instead of attempting the basic stitches first, I dove in and learned a lace stitch pattern.

I must say, I'm pretty adept at yarning because I got this:

On my first try.

I win.

(Ok, so it's not perfect, but nothing a little blocking can't fix, right?)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

So SAD, But My Cabinets Are Gorgeous

There are just a few completely unrelated things bouncing around in my head today that I'd like to share.

Let me tell you something about me: daylight savings time totally effs me up. As soon as we made the time change and it was suddenly dark outside at freaking SIX...my body went OH NO NO SUNLIGHT LET'S CRY FOREVER. Seriously. I've got a few personal things on my mind that are just weighing on me terribly, and when I went to the gym and instead of feeling skinny and empowered and beautiful like I usually do, I went home and when I took my clothes off to take a shower and I saw myself in the mirror and I just...lost it.

I feel like I've been busting my ass trying to lose weight and it just doesn't happen. I know I could definitely do better. I could go to the gym more often (although I've been doing three times a week or more consistently) (because I'm a total ROCK STAR). And I know I could be eating better. Confession: I've been eating french fries lately. I don't think this is a problem in and of itself, because I'm not eating them often at all. But, all things considered, I could be doing better to eat healthier. So even though I'm a lot better off that I was a few years ago, I still feel like a total failure. After doing the hCG diet and losing so much weight so quickly, it is KILLING me to lose one pound a week (or some weeks not lose any) (ok, most weeks not lose any). I want a quick fix. I want to wake up one day and just magically be a size 8. Or a 10. Whatever. I just want to feel better about myself than I do now, and I feel like that's always going to be connected to the number on the scale. I'm just...stuck.

I'm sure I'll feel better later, but for now that's what's going on in my nutty head.

So anyway, back to yesterday after my shower. I got dressed and called Mim with only the intent of complaining about the size of my derriere, but what really happened was everything that I had been putting to the back of my mind for the last few weeks just came flooding out and before I knew it I was bawling and just freaking out about everything at once and my poor mother, who is a saint, talked me down. We talked about some really important stuff and I just have to say that she's the best friend a girl could ever have. She lets me say whatever I need to and she never gets offended or judgemental or anything like that, just like I can talk to Kwiddens and have her be totally awesome. I have some really awesome people in my life, I really do.

So, here's the plan:
Keep exercising.
Keep taking happy pills.
Bust out my SAD light. It's this amazing nifty light that mimics sunlight, and you shine it on yourself in the morning for a little while every day and it helps with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) (it's awesome that it's called that, because oh look, it makes you sad).

Blargh. I hate being crazy. Moving on.

Scott has been working very very hard, coding like no nerd has coded before, for a few months, building a new system at work. He recently finished it, and everyone in the entire company, and all the customers, and all the members of the board have had nothing but praise for the system, and I am SO proud of him. He works so hard, and I'm so glad he's getting some recognition for that. He's smart AND handy! Also, he gets more PTO than I do and he has to use it up by the end of the year, so he has every Friday for the rest of the year off, plus extra days around Christmas and Thanksgiving. Jerk (he totally deserves it though).

Last weekend we installed our new cabinets, and they look AMAZING! Amazing as in, I walk up the stairs and go WHOA IS THAT REALLY MY KITCHEN?? I've been intending to post about it, on here and on Facebook, but the SAD has got me feeling unmotivated to do ANYTHING except work on Mim's blanket. And watch Battlestar Galactica. Again. Really, the idea of sitting down and blogging has seemed totally boring to me (yet, here I am...blogging). So I will post about it, I promise, I just don't know when.

The countertop dude is coming over tomorrow while Scott is at home (not at work...jerk) to take measurements, and then the following Friday we'll have countertops installed and we will have a FULLY FUNCTIONAL KITCHEN. Like, appliances plugged in and water turned on and everything. You have no idea how excited I am about this.

I think once the countertops are in I'm going to go through all my dishes and such and decide what to keep and what to donate and organize everything exactly where I want it, and put the silverware in the SILVERWARE DRAWER...I don't know if I've ever mentioned it, but we didn't have a freaking silverware drawer before but now we do and it's the most awesomely epic thing EVER.

Then I plan on busting out the crock pot and learning to cook a bit. I'll actually have space to do it!

Now look. It's 7:30 and I'm so sleepy...stupid Daylight Savings Time. I wonder how long it's going to take me to adjust this time...and then I'll get to do it again in the spring. Oh, joy.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Now I'll Go Churn Some Butter...

Apparently, housewives are extinct.

An acquaintance posted this link of Facebook a little while ago. I read it, and thought it was fine and had a bit of a point, though it reeked of 19th century gender roles.

Then I read the comments.

Holy hell, people!

It took me three days to cool down enough to write this while keeping the language clean. Well, cleanish.

Gee, I'm SO SORRY I was too busy studying quantum mechanics to learn how to make a perfect souffle. Apparently I'm an awful person.

There are women who are happy to be at home, to cook and clean, and take care of children, and be there when the husband comes home with a smile and a fresh, hot supper laid out on the table. And I think that's wonderful. I think women should be able to do whatever they want to do, whether that is being at home or being out on Wall Street, trading stocks. Mim was a stay-at-home mom, and it was so wonderful to know that she was always there and would help and support us in all our endeavors. But she always wanted more. She wanted to learn. She wanted to (someday) be able to go out into the world and do something else after we kids were raised and do something she really, truly enjoyed.

I have no desire to have children of my own. I also have no desire to quit my job, stay at home, and cook. I don't particularly like cooking (but maybe when I have a nice, new, big kitchen I'll be willing to learn...) and I don't want to do all the cleaning (although I would clean more around the house if someone would remind me to, hint hint). I'm just not the domestic type. And I have thought to myself, many times, "Thank GOD I was born when I was, because I don't think I could ever be happy in a fixed gender role like things used to be!"

(And, no, I didn't just take the Lord's name in vain, because I really DO thank Him)

(So nobody get offended, ok?)

I don't consider myself a "feminist", but I'm really happy that I found a man who didn't have...ideas...about how things should be run in our home. We're partners. We share. We help each other. We pick up each other's slack. And we split the work (not quite evenly, I must admit...he's so much better at remembering chores than I am!). We both go to our jobs and earn about the same amount of money. And all of this is totally fine with both of us. We're happy.

There seem to be a lot of men (at least, all the men who left comments on this article...) that think that just because they were born with man-parts they are entitled to having a woman who will do whatever he wants her to do.

Think again, jerks.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Breakdown And A Sandwich

This past weekend I ran out of Risperdal, which is the medicine that makes me nice instead of totally bitchy. I had put the empty bottle on the bathroom counter so I would see it and remember to go to the pharmacy, but every day I just totally spaced it.  I was feeling sick all day Monday, but I was stuck at work, and everything seemed to be annoying me, and I came home and just went to sleep. I woke up when Scott got home and he took me to the pharmacy. We got my medicine and I immediately popped one plus some Klonapin for good measure, and spent the rest of the evening just chilling out. Here is a picture of the amazingly awesome sandwich Scott made for me:

He always knows how to make me feel better.

I'm feeling much better now that I have my brain chemicals all balanced again.

I realize every now and again how incredibly lucky (blessed, even) I am to have Scott. He understands why I have mood swings and knows how to deal with them, and he knows that it isn't my fault and I don't mean anything when I snap at him or stomp around in a horrible mood. I think most men would have run away by now. Scott is just amazing.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

International Kwiddens Day

Dear Kwiddens,

It's your birthday! You're 22! I can't believe it! Well, I can, but it's still cool!

I hereby designate today "International Kwiddens Day". Everyone can celebrate your existence!

Kwiddens, you are very special to me (not the "stop eating paste" special) and I am lucky to have you in my life.

Remember that time when you threw a dead spider at me, but I didn't know it was dead and I freaked out and punched you and we both got in trouble?

Remember when we drove to school and there was a really old, leathery looking woman in a parka, and we couldn't stop laughing all the way to school because we thought she was an Eskimo?

Remember when the missionaries came over for dinner and you burst out laughing in the middle of dinner and it made me start laughing and we couldn't stop so we got sent to our room?

Remember when we used to run around the backyard with a jump rope, pretending you were a horse and I was a cowgirl, because a jump rope was all we had?

Remember when we used to ride our bikes to Falls Park every day and have a picnic for lunch and climb around on the rocks and pretend we were mountain goats?

I have so many awesome memories with you, and we keep making more.

You are beautiful, inside and out. You are smart, kind, witty, generous, and a wonderful mother with a beautiful baby (and how could she not be beautiful, since she's made of you?).

You understand what's going on in my head and I'm never embarrassed to tell you whatever is on my mind. You're full of good advice and free with your hugs, and you're one of my closest confidantes.

You deserve to be happy. You deserve to be treated like a queen. You deserve ice cream, because I said so.

I'll see you tomorrow when the whole family meets for your birthday dinner. We'll eat rolls and honey butter and the calories won't matter because we're celebrating your life (plus I'll go to the gym for a few hours to work it off...).

Keep getting older. It's kinda fun. Plus we all like having you around.

Love you Kwiddens!

-Your Sister, Nanners

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Silly, Foggy Scott

I'm tired, so today you just get a few amusing videos. If you're going to buy an industrial strength fog machine, you should definitely get to play with it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I don't think I need words to introduce this:

It would have been totally epic if we had had more than 15 trick or treaters...stupid Halloween on a Sunday.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween: Buster And Nyah

Here's a picture of our little Nyah in her costume:

Best little Jack O Lantern EVER.

And, because animal cruelty is always funny*:

Buster as a hot dog. Oh yes, we did.

*Animal cruelty is never funny. And this isn't cruel. Well, not very cruel.