Thursday, March 28, 2013

February Recap

Usually February is when I start the 14 days of Valentines, but this year I was in Texas for the beginning of the month AND had Adrianne coming to help with the house the next 5 days.  Ryan convinced me that it would be better for the kids if I DIDN’T do this particular tradition…so that the kids would know, sometimes you have to let things go and not worry about it.  They were disappointed but I tried to make up for on Valentines day, with socks, underwear, Valentines tee shirts and a special breakfast.

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Ryan and I celebrated by having lunch together and him telling me I could pick anything out at the mall for my gift (I got a puffer coat).  Simple and fun.

Here are some outtakes from the living room re-do:

A hutch filled with bottles and brushes and swatches:


The best baby sitter that freed up our hands to sew and paint and shop:


What happens when 2-4 year olds are left alone with half made pillow…SNOW!:



Cute Emma turned 14 on February 12 and it was a busy day…she had a special breakfast (coffee cake), a lunch that flopped (because she told me the wrong time to pick her up for pizza), and a dinner at 4:30 (Cafe Rio) because she had to get to choir practice.  She got a shopping spree from her parents, gift cards from grandparents and creative gifts from her siblings…as well as the famous 10 lb chocolate cake from Costco. 

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Look at the darling birthday “card” sent from the Young Women’s presidency:

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For her birthday, we had a Valentines themed party.  They played the name game as they arrived (famous couples on their back and they asked yes/no questions), ate heart shaped pizza, decorated cookies, watched “Pizza My Heart” (mixed reviews on that one) and blew out candles on her cookie cake.

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Gabe and Dad had a scout outdoor activity that was night skiing.  When they had an extra ticket, they grabbed Jane from school and took her along.  Emma was babysitting and so I decided to take the youngest two on a date (Faith’s snaggly hair and all).  We headed downtown for sushi (which they mostly hated), a walk around the mall and some treats for dessert.  It was a fun dynamic to just have those two all to myself.

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Presidents Day was actually kind of fun this year.  Ryan had the day off for the first time ever and we decided to bike ride 7.5 miles to a local park, eat a yummy (though freezing picnic lunch), visit with our friends the Nebekers (back for a visit after they rudely moved away) and ride back home.  There is a hilarious story about a broken steering column, a trip to a gas station, directions to “Joe’s” house to get tools and a repair, but we’ll have to let Ryan tell that one.  When we got home, we had nachos, played games and watched movies.  Loveliest one day holiday in a long time.

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Ryan’s birthday was at the end of the month and he never wants much or any fuss made, but I think he had a nice day.  We had lunch together and then I arranged to have his bike tuned up and some new gadgets added.  Dinner was grilled veggie Paninis and dessert (post Scout activity) was banana pudding with strawberries.  I love that guy, truly, more than I can express.


Other random things from the month…

Faith had a 3 day playdate with Kate while her parents were out of town and she was in heaven and I kept thinking “this is the way to take a vacation…parcel the kids out because really ONE extra kid is the easiest thing ever”.

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Emma is getting so OLD!!  This picture is from her first church dance, plus we had all this high school registering stuff and meetings to go to.  Ugh.  Slipping away.  Ryan reminded me (as I cried over her birthday table pictures that we had 4 more birthday with her and then she’d be gone.  Seriously?)

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We had our first 8 year old mother daughter book club and it was SO fun.  We read The Phantom Tollbooth, the 8 year olds led the discussion and we had fun treats when it was over.  So glad Heather came up with the idea!

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It’s been an unusually sunny and warm (for here) late winter, as evidenced by random park outings in February:


Abraham Lincoln, duh:


New chunky glasses for my trendy girl:


Februray, recapped.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

February Instagrams


Location: Walmart


Welcome Home #startingwithmyleastfavoritejobfirst



Early morning trip to the grocery store. #wehaveabarfer






I buy her plane ticket and she shops, sews, paints, advises, builds for 4 days.  #doesthatseemlikeafairtradetoyou? #whywevebeenfriendsfor24years



Project #13.  Ryan keeps asking why we can’t just buy something and keep it in the state in which it was purchased. #thatwouldbetooeasy



Sheleftmetomyowndevices.  Love her! #picturescomingwhenitsdone


Location: Chez Romney


Everyone’s FAVORITE Valentine tradition. #pinkparfaits



Birthday girl enjoying her birthday dinner at 4:00 because she has a full night ahead of her.  #howintheworldisshefourteen


Location: Chez Romney


I don’t do fancy valentines or boxes (those involve paper craftin, blech) but I DO do fancy Valentines breakfasts #heartshapednutellafrenchtoast



Valentines shirts! #emmarejectedmypurchasebecauseherfriendsarematchingtoday


Location: no potential boyfriends live here


Emma got these roses from two boys are school.  Barf. #timetohomeschool



Emma’s birthday party, decor, games, cookie decorating.  #mostlylotsofscreamingandtalkingaboutboys


Location:  Post Falls Park


It’s such a bonus when the weather is nice on a No School Day #oldschoolparksarethefunnest



The 14 step/49 minute process Ryan goes through to hang three pictures.  #imnotexaggerating #thisiswhyhesanengineer


Location: Idaho centennial trail


38 degrees, 15 mile bike ride to a picnic in the park with our long lost Nebeker friends. #onlyus #makehaywhilethesunshines #orwhateverthatphraseis



I read the bedtime story longer if someone rubs my feet. #imagenius  #lopsidedrub


Location: Zibby’s house

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Highlight of my month: my book club where we actually discuss the book


Location:  where the meanest mom lives

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Someone paying me for his ride to school after he missed the bus, due to misplaced shoes. #imexpensive #heSWEARSheputthemintheshoecubbie #loveandlogic


Location: Sushi Maru

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Big kids and dad are night skiing so we are on an adventure: Trying sushi for the first time.  #notbigfans #yet


Location: Brunts

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Mom/Daughter bookclub—great activity for middle children who need more mom time #phantomtollbooth


Location; Chez Romney


Birthday boy wanted “a smoothie with no vegetables in it” so I complied… and threw in my new favorite waffle recipe (Our Best Bites’ light and crispy) #heissoeasyonhisbirthdaythatifeellame



Some of the birthday spoils: banana pudding and coupons from Seth #myfavoriteisthecouponwheresethwilltellyouyouareawesome

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Living Room makeover

Let’s transition from something that bums me out to something that makes me REALLY happy, shall we?

So last August, Ryan and I celebrated our 15th anniversary and, for my gift, he gave me a living room makeover!   Perfect present, huh?

It turned out exactly like I wanted, which hasn’t always been the case when I’ve decorated areas in the past.  This is why I think I got it right this time:

1. Learning from past mistakes: after doing this for 15 years, I’ve learned things.  Less is more for me on walls and shelves.  Go 2 shades lighter on the paint strip after you’ve picked a color.  Let the paint dry ALL THE WAY. 

2.  Using my super talented interior design friends, Adrianne and Melissa, and listening when they tell me I can’t have my sectional block my fireplace and stuff like that.  Melissa lives here and so she was always coming shopping with me and looking at color swatches.  Adrianne lives in Arizona but she SO SWEETLY let me fly her up for 5 days while we got the room together.  I have a decent eye for style and home design, but I need their superior talent to get it perfect.

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3. Taking my time.  The couch (to get the one that didn’t block the fireplace) took 4 months to order from China so I was forced to make this a 6 month process.  I think it made all the difference because I had time to order swatches, take stuff back, look around for a while, etc.  I tend to just buy whatever if it kind of works and then I get a result I’m less than thrilled with.


4.  The internet/technology.  Pinterest made it possible for me to find ideas and hold onto them and have them with me wherever I went (via the iphone) and was so great for just giving me TONS of pictures of all things Mid-Century Modern, so I knew the types of colors, shapes, etc. I wanted to create my look.  Plus, Skype/picture texting made it possible to show Adrianne exactly what I was looking at, so I could get good feedback from her.

5.  Identifying the main “problems” with the room.  I figured out that I wanted more seating and more lighting.  That helped guide the budget and other decisions. 

So here we go.  (this should be probably more than one post, but that’s too much work.)

Here’s some Before pictures (the first one is after we’d started a little bit, just so you know it didn’t look quite that bad.  There was another chair and a lamp). 

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We’d had all of this stuff for 8-10 years and it was used and stained and I was done with it.

I knew I wanted calm colors, and I am drawn towards Mid-Century modern things.  Ryan just wanted a darker rug and a darker couch (kids, you know) and I wanted the room to feel light and airy.  I found this picture on Pinterest that seemed to fit the bill:


and we used it for inspiration all the way through.

Here are some After Pictures:

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We did a pretty good job on all counts, right?  Light and airy, check.  More lighting, check.  More seating, check. Dark rug, check. Dark couch, um…we tried, but it got here lighter than we thought.  Calm colors, check.

Here are some things I love:

The curtain height and width.  They put those curtain up (18 inches ABOVE the window frame) and that room just opened up.  It was crazy.

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The carpet pattern.  I didn’t know that pattern was that big and it couldn’t be more perfect.  I think it also makes the room look bigger.

This side cabinet thing.  We saw it at Marshalls and thought it was perfect but too big.  When we realized that the smaller side table we bought was too small, we sped back over there to get that silver, mirrored beauty and it looks so great.

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The piano.  Ah, that piano.  Don’t look too closely.  If you look too closely, it won’t look as good, I promise.  But the color is great, and it looks WAY better than it did before.  It was my first foray into the world of chalk paint and it has its pros and cons, but I liked it. The lamps are covered with curtain fabric and that little metryoshka is Ryan’s only mission souvenir.  It think the unexpected color there is so fun.

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The ampersand.  This was a tricky one.  We saw it at World Market covered in a map.  Adrianne had a vision and we decided to take it home, and recover it in paint samples and then modge podge it.  (Also, don’t look too close.)  Everyone asks what it means…and it doesn’t have a meaning except that there is always MORE here at our house: more kids, more to say, more to do, more time to be a family. & & &

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The mantle arrangement.  That’s a printed picture of the Oakland temple (where we got married) and the books are neat because that Jesus the Christ is my grandma Paula’s.  Love having it on display.

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The couch.  It’s from Dania and, honestly, it’s so comfortable and big and we just love it.


The chairs. From Urban outfitters, they are tiny but they work so well in this room.

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The white side table.  So modern and 60s, I just bought it and was glad I could find a use for it.


My family pictures.  I wanted something funky and not traditional.  This shadow shot looks so cool with the gray asphalt and the silhouettes.  I love the jumping picture, too.  (bad lighting, sorry)

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This lamp.  Total splurge from Pier 1, but could it be more perfect??


So there you go.  Thanks for indulging me.  The process and result has been so satisfying and the whole family really loves to be in that area.  Thanks for the perfect anniversary gift, honey!