Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmastime Photo Shoot

I knew I wanted to get one last really good photo shoot in before we move to California. What a perfect snowy day it was too.  I can't wait to print some of my favorites off and hang them in our new home where we will probably never ever see any snow.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hold That Moment

Ever just wanted to pause life just for a moment and really and I mean really take it all in? I had one of those special 'can I just pause this and enjoy for a moment' moments yesterday as I was preparing our weekly Sunday Breakfast at Dinner meal after church.  I heard laughing and playing from all three kids coming from the living room and couldn't believe my ears.  I sneaked a peak from the dining room to see what they were doing and they were playing together very nicely.  I couldn't believe it.  It seems like it has been a long time since real genuine playing and laughter has filled our home and I am loving it.  I don't ever want it to stop.
Mr. Jewels and I had a few good laughs over the weekend as well.  We just about hopped into a minivan in a dark parking lot that wasn't ours, but looked a lot like ours. Another moment we had was when I was rubbing my eye and of course to get the full pleasure out of rubbing one's eye is that the mouth needs to be open as well.  Mr. Jewels was making fun of me and I asked him if he opened his mouth while rubbing his eyes and his response was "I don't rub my eyes, not since I stopped drinking milk".  I couldn't stop laughing at what he said. It did not make any sense to me, but it sure gave us a good laugh.

Monday, November 4, 2013

the "if only's"

       Looking back on the last few years of life I find I have a lot of 'if only'.  If only I had saved more money, if only I had spent more time taking the kids out, if only I had spent more time visiting family and friends, if only I had spent more time reading, studying, learning, exercising, being happy, if only I could predict the future, if only if only if only.  It could almost make you go crazy thinking and really regretting all the if only's.
         I didn't want to see the season change to fall, my summer wasn't complete and wasn't what I wanted it to be, again, if only I had enjoyed my summer.  Disappointment, stress and depression totally got in the way and I didn't feel like doing anything at all.  I am feeling much better now and have made the decision to be happy with the changing of the seasons, and the changing that life will most certainly bring, cause really, change can be a beautiful thing.  I won't focus on the negative that the "if only's" bring but take them to make the future just a whole lot better.      
        One thing I don't regret this summer was taking this little guy on a hike with me, we only went out a few times, but oh boy, they were great.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Three Bears' Home

      Well, we did it. Our home is now officially a vacation rental.  We had our first guests over the weekend and they loved it and said they will call again.  I think this is actually going to work.  We haven't had anything really work out for us for such a long time that I feel like I'm taking such a big risk in actually SAYING that this might really work out.  It was a whirlwind of a week getting ready though, as you see we have no other home to go to at the moment.  We relied on some neighbors of ours who were out of town and then off to my parents for the rest of the weekend.  All of our possessions either in the garage or piled crazily into the van.  It was crazy.  The most asked question of the weekend was "where is...." my reply "I have no idea, do you really really need it right now?" When we finally came home it was like we were the Three Bears, having had Goldilocks stay in our home, but in this story, she didn't break anything and didn't eat our porridge.  So that's a good ending.
     Mr. Jewels starts working on November 4th.  I'm a little anxious and nervous about finding a place to live out there and getting the kids into school, especially since I have never been there before.  I hope all of this works out well too.  This is one weird adventure we are on, but we hope the best is yet to come.

Monday, September 9, 2013

I Smell Stinky

for the past three years I have smelled of cleaning supplies and sweat. sometime in the near future I will smell of fresh flowers and freshly baked bread, mixed with a light and airy perfumed lotion.  But for now it's sweaty cleaning supplies mixed with whatever smell the deodorant has.  Stability takes a lot of work and boy have we been working really hard to have a stable life.  The job search is coming to a close, we have one solid job offer and hope to have another one sometime this week.  In the meantime my days have been filled with packing, cleaning, rearranging, dusting, painting, yard work, rental searching, furniture moving, furniture storing, trips to goodwill (for dropping off and finding stuff) and many other various home improvement chores.  Long story short, when we thought we were moving the first time, a friend of ours gave us the idea to make our home into a vacation rental and the idea intrigued me.  When we found out we weren't moving quite yet, we still went with the whole 'turn our home into a vacation rental, move our family somewhere close by, but with cheaper living expenses and see what comes of it' idea.  I don't necessarily like all the packing and cleaning and storing of stuff, but I am happy with the results so far.  So, I don't know, maybe this whole weird trying to become stable thing by moving and doing something crazy thing just might work.
 Here are just a few of the changes we made to the home.  Took out a lot of our stuff and bought an old comfy chair in really good condition for the living room.
 Changed Emeline's room into a second master suite with a queen size bed. Painted two nightstands the same color to match the vanity and found two goodwill reading lamps.
 Changed Jonathan's room to have two twin size beds.

 The master bedroom upstairs.  Cleaned it all out except for some pieces of furniture and pictures.
Rearranged Sam's room and bought a trundle bed to slide underneath his twin bed so that this room can sleep two comfortably.  Since this picture was taken, we added some items to the shelf, put up a little chalkboard door on the opposite wall and installed a headboard and footboard.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Magic of Blocks

I really love the creativity of one of the simplest toys, blocks.  The kids will spend hours with these simple blocks.  No fancy buttons, no complicated building instructions, no batteries, no wear and tear. They get better with age and are timeless.  I enjoy each and every building and playing session they have with blocks.
 Especially when this is the view from where I sit in the living room

Monday, August 26, 2013

The August Garden

The August Garden is a late growing garden.  This is what happens when your mind has other plans at the beginning of summer, i.e., moving.  So why plant a garden so that others can reap the rewards of what I sowed? Who knew that "others" would still be me and my family.  I am grateful I reluctantly planted what I did.

 The short little holly hocks are vibrant with color
 My latest door find at a yard sale.  I love the number still on it.
 The sunflowers are just barely blooming.
 The pumpkins growing slowly on the ladder.
And I finally cleaned up the used-to-be-patio-now-turned-sand box for the kids. Who knows what next year's garden will look like.  This is what I love about gardening, it's a time for thinking and learning, pondering on life's lessons while I dig my hands in the dirt or pick the first ripe tomato. It's working with what God gave me and hoping for a tomorrow. I breathe, therefore I garden.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Farmer's Market

 The other day I took the kids to PineView Reservoir and spent the afternoon playing in the water and making sand castles. As we drove home I thought to myself, 'this is really an amazing place to live'.  Last night Mr. Jewels and I went the Temple and then out to eat at Pops Diner and talked about how we haven't enjoyed this city to it's fullest yet.  So this morning we all went to the Ogden Farmers Market, ate some crepes, looked at the painted horses, look at all the booths, bought a few little things and listened to some great street music.  I believe it is new this year, but there are these amazing painted old pianos on the sidewalks as well.  I tried bribing Jonathan with 5 dollars to play The Entertainer on it, but to no avail.  I thought he could as least get some spare change, if we just put a hat on the ground next to the piano while he played.

I have a crazy fascination for old doors and big ol' hinges.  Look at that one, it's so awesome, I'm gonna die!

This piano was done by a 12 year old girl.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


I feel like this post should begin as 'it was the best of times, it was the worst of times' but I won't do that.  We had a wonderful beginning of the summer, I mean, come on, a trip to Turkey and Greece?! How could it get any better? We met with some other wonderful engineers and professors and met with the man we hoped to have been working with in the near future on that trip, we also celebrated our 15 year anniversary.  I thought, wow, this is amazing and we will blessed with so much.  We are so lucky. Unfortunately a month later we found out it wasn't so and we will need to turn down another road.  More waiting and hoping and more unsightly sobbing.  You hope things will get better and while you wait, there is gardening to be done, basketball to play, plants to water, house to clean, free concerts in the park, playing with the neighbors cat, allowing Sam to use the camera and kids to take care of.

The cat's name is David Bowie, he has one green and one blue eye.  We think his owner must have dyed his ears to be funny.