What I've Been Up To...

Agghh! It's been 2 weeks since I last posted. Where does the time go? So, here's a quick update of all the very uninteresting things that have been keeping me busy:

1. Birthdays - Ella, Finn & I all have our birthdays within 2 weeks of each other. Mine and Ella's are now done - onto Finn's. My birthday was amazing!!! Let's see - pedicure, manicure, massage, shopping, surprise (well, not really..) party with ridiculously yummy food - all of my favorites and so many of my favorite people! Who could ask for more. Ella just had her party on Friday, so I'll post more about that later. Tomorrow I've got to get Finn's underway...

2. Article for The Friend -I am in Stake Primary (church) and we did this fantastic Stake-wide service project last year.  So, I finally just finished writing an article - with pictures - and submitted it to The Friend (our church's magazine for kids).  That would be so fun for the kids in our Stake if it got published!

3.  Trying to figure out Lightroom - For Christmas I got PS4 and Lightroom.  I used to have PSE, so have been able to stumble my way around PS4, but Lightroom - NO clue!  I haven't had a big chunk of time to devote but have gradually been trying to figure things out.  I know I am going to LOVE it!  Presets are amazing and a huge time saver.

4.  Being wishy-washy about going with Jeramy on a big trip in March.  More details to come.

5.  Working on finishing up my 2008 Family Album photo book.  No, not a typo - that is 2008, not 2009.  I'm a little behind.  I'm 95 percent done, just trying to add a few last pages then onto 2009.

6.  Getting everything together so I can do my taxes.  Since we are some of the lazy ones that allow the government an interest-free loan, I always try and file by Feb. 1st, (hmmm, that's tomorrow) so we can get our money back sooner.  I used to really crunch the number to ensure we would break even every year but that kind of fell by the wayside a few years back.  Jeramy and I have talked about it and really, would we save that extra money each month?  Not so sure - so it is nice to get a little chunk of change every year. 

7.  Dreaming of the day when I will actually give my blog a much needed makeover!  Sorry Chase, I know you're almost 6 months old.   Our life was really not that fun before you!!!

In a nutshell, that's been my recent very uninteresting, ordinary, world.  More posts to come of Ella's wild and crazy, cake-pop-alicious birthday, and my hyper little baby who is in a huge rush to grow up.



I was sitting at the computer working on a project listening to some tunes and after the 3rd song in 10 minutes was about "breathing" I realized I have a lot of songs about breathing. Super random, I know. So I just did a quick keyword search in my library - 16 songs with a variation of breathing just in the title. Now I'm trying to read into it, wondering if there's a message there I'm not getting. Anyone care to try and interpret for me?

Anyway, so my favorite 5 "breathing" songs:

1. "Keep Breathing" - Ingrid Michaelson
2. "Breathe In, Breathe Out" - Mat Kearney
3. "Just Breathe" - Pearl Jam
4. "Breath Me" - Sia
5. "Breathe" - Taylor Swift (with Colbie Caillat)

Honorable Mentions: "Every Breath You Take" by the Police for my favorite old school and "Breath of Heaven" by Amy Grant for favorite Christmas


Potty Training

Finn will be 3 in a few weeks. so it is probably time for me to get serious about potty-training him. So, here's how today went.

2:45pm - He wants his Spiderman "underwears" on with no diaper. First time with no diaper.

3:20 - Put him on the potty to try. "It's not working!" He says. Give him a gumball for trying.

4:50 - Try again, still nothing. Another gumball. The mass of chewed gum in his stomach is starting to grow.

5:20 - He pees all over the carpet.

We've got our work cut out for us. Really, diapers are not that bad.



I realized that I have never posted about one of my all-time favorites EVER!!! My wallet. I have a Hobo Interanational "Lauren" wallet (actually, mine is patent leather and is called "Belinda" but it is exactly the same as the Lauren - it's just patent leather) that I bought nearly two years ago. My super-stylish, savvy friend Mindy was visiting from Utah a few years back and whipped out this phenomenal wallet, so I promptly went out and bought one. In fact, there were a bunch of us out at dinner for Mindy's wallet reveal and I think we all fell in love with it. So a few of us bought our own and then it became the group birthday gift for 2008/09, so now there are 9 of us that have one. Most of them are different colors - everything from black to bright patent-orange!

Now, like many great things, these wallets are a little rough on the bank account - they retail for $108 and you can find them online or at Nordstrom. If you have patience, the best place to buy one is on ebay. You can get them new for around $70 - you may just have to spend a few months watching and waiting for the one you want and I would recommend using an auction sniping service so you don't miss the end of the auction! I found mine at piperlime.com and I had about $70 in Gap rewards and gift cards that I hadn't found anything to buy with, so I was so happy to use them towards my wallet.

These are some stock photos - my wallet is navy blue patent with the polka-dot lining. So, from the last picture you can see on the right is a spot for your DL. It is a slide in little slot with the clear vinyl. I LOVE that it is so easy to slide it in and out when you do need to get it out, so easy! On the left is 3 slots to put a few of your most used cards. I keep my Debit and Credit card, my Costco card, and my gym and rec center cards in these slots. This is probably my most favorite thing about this wallet. The things I need 95% of the time are right there and I don't need to dig through several slots, or have the entire contents of my wallet on display as I find something. Then you will see the zipper on the last picture - inside there I keep my checkbook and any receipts I need. Then you will see you can open the closure on each side. One side is open with another zippered pocket. I keep cash in this side and change in the zip. The other side has six more credit card-sized pockets and another larger one about the size of a paper bill.

Clearly I LOVE this wallet! For sure in my top 3 purchases EVER! (I'm not sure what the other 2 are). I am very partial to patent leather so I would highly recommend the patent. Beyond aesthetics, it has held up amazing! So easy to wipe dirty little finger prints off and I have noticed that on the non-patent versions, where the wallet folds in half that the leather has cracked and kind of peeled. The patent-leather versions still look brand new.

If you are in the market for a new wallet or need to give your hubby a suggestion for your birthday or anniversary or Mother's Day, this is the one! It will change your life!!! :) ha ha


Happy New Year!

It is so hard to believe it is 2010! It sounds so futuristic. Also, I haven't figured out if it is going to be "Twenty-ten" or "Two-thousand-ten". Any thoughts?

Anyway, 2009 was a very special year because we had sweet little Chase BUT it was also not my favorite. So, I am not despairing as I close the chapter on last year and I am looking forward to starting a new year!

Near the end of 2009 I had an opportunity to attend some great "life management" classes (through our church). In one of the classes we talked about writing a personal mission statement. We learned different things to consider when writing one and discussed various areas of our lives to assess in helping us find "clues" to writing our mission statement. I really took it seriously and spent some time really pondering and assessing my life. During this process one word repeatedly kept entering my mind. That one word is the heart of my entire mission statement and I feel ties into everything that I value, love and aspire to be. Create.

In Sept 2008, President Uchtdorf gave an AMAZING talk at the General RS Broadcast. That talk resonated so deeply with me and is my favorite and most valued talk of all time. He talked a lot about "creating" and it really helped to put it into a different light for me.

The main part of my personal mission statement is: Learn to Create, Love to Create, Live to Create, Help to Create. Then, there are several paragraphs of detailwith tons of specific things that I will strive to create (or help others to create) - eg. a life of gratitude, joy in the lives of other through love and service, memories, fun and laughter, opportunities for my children, a healthy lifestyle, etc. I love to create! It makes me happy and it is such an important part of raising my children and serving others.

One of the many things I want to do better at "creating" in 2009 are memories and recording and documenting those. I read a really great quote the other day that said: "Because we are mortal, every talent, skill, ability we possess, every thought and feeling we ever have, every beautiful sight we ever see, every material possession we own, will ultimately be lost. Unless we share it." (from The Practice of Kindness) I loved that! And it reminded me how important it is to document mine and my families lives. Through journals, pictures, blogs, etc. - they are all ways to share thoughts, feelings and beautiful sights so they won't be lost.

So, for 2010 I am going to try to do a better job at recording and sharing the thoughts & feelings, the beautiful sights and the memories. Heaven knows I can't do any worse than I did in 2009!!!

Playing in Photoshop

I must have been really good in 2009 because I got kind of spoiled for Christmas. I got Photoshop CS4!!! (Actually, I was pretty awful in 2009 - Santa must have got me mixed up with someone else). I am so excited and I have absolutely NO idea how to use it. I used to have PSE and knew how to do enough but I had a really, really old version that kept crashing and that version prohibited me from doing several things that I wanted to. So, thank you Santa and regrets to whoever got my lump of coal.

Tonight I spent a little time playing around trying out a few different actions and textures. I used a picture of Ella from 1st grade picture day and tried an urban action with a ginger overlay and an antique texture. I think next time I will tone down the yellow - she looks a little jaundiced to me - but I guess that antiquated look is supposed to be quite yellow. Kind of fun!


Haircut for Astro Boy

Today I gave little Chaser a haircut. I put him in his Bumbo seat on the table and tied a towel around him for a cape. First of all, he is CRAZY in his Bumbo. I can't even really put him in it anymore because he arches his back and twists himself sideways until he can get one of his legs out of the Bumbo which he then uses to launch himself out of his seat and then he belly-flops onto the floor. It was quite the challenge to keep him in his seat and try to keep his head still and not cut him. I don't know how I thought I'd get any pictures! Needless to say I only managed to get one picture - him trying to eat the table centerpiece!

Ella thought he looked like Astro boy with his "cape" and his hair combed up in a swirl.