Monday, March 29, 2010

It's the age....

When you're a kid you get invited to birthday parties several times a year. As you get older, say marrying age you start going to bridal showers & wedding receptions - that of course NEVER ends from that time forth. From there you start going to baby showers. When you get to be my age, people stop "celebrating" birthday's with parties (unless they are "over the hill parties"), the bridal showers, wedding receptions & baby showers that you are invited to grow because you no longer are going to them for your "friends" but for your friends kids who are now going through that stage of their lives. It's a never ending thing I guess.
Recently though my dear friend, whom I could easily be her mother but we wont go there - well she had a baby. Now, I know that I could just run down to the store and buy something, and maybe there are times that the receiver is thinking "why didn't they just go down to the store and buy something?!" - but I decided to spend a little time and make her a something that hopefully she & her family would enjoy for years to come.
I took one of Close To My Hearts My Creations All-Sorts Mini Albums and with the help of Kim's husband sneaking me some photos was able to make this cute book:

Thanks Kim for letting me share your book online. Doesn't she have a cute family?! Photos are amazing! They can bring us back to that very moment in time when we captured them and they bring a well of emotions with them! Powerful isn't it? It's what we do with those photos that becomes the legacy. Leaving them on our camera, on the computer or in a shoe box is such a shame. They're your memories, your keepsakes...what have you done with yours recently?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hum....what came next?

Oh yes...after dropping Kara off at the Y, Jessie and I came home and tackled the kitchen cabinets! A couple years ago we'd planned to do a remodel on the house - well long story short that fell through big time and so the kitchen has stayed its Ugly Betty self - but after visiting my dear friend Tracy in Utah and seeing her fabulous kitchen cabinets I got a wild idea to paint mine! So I did! Jessie and I headed off to Home Depot and met the paint expert "Norm" in the paint department. Norm was AMAZING in so many ways! lol He IS the paint expert but not only that, he is HILARIOUS to talk to! Let's just say that Norm has a few idiosyncrasies that make him so much fun! While I do have a picture of Norm (which Jessie sneaked on her cell phone!)- it wouldn't be nice to post it without his consent so no pictures to share of our new friend. Anyways, after looking at the 50 billion color swatches that are out there I came to French Roast and fell in love. To compliment it I found a Stone color and then a Barn Red to match and off I went with all my painting glory to tackle the kitchen.

Now if you have ever painted something in your house you know that it seems at first like it will be a cinch, but it's a lot like childbirth - you sort of forget how difficult and painful it is until you are there at that point again - why is our memory so selective? We think - "I will never forget this" and then we do! It's only when you start that next birth experience that you realize - DANG IT! I was NEVER going to do this again because it's so painful! Or in the case of painting - DANG IT! I was NEVER going to do this again because it's a pain! Even though you swear you would never do it again - you and I both know that holding that new born baby in your arms wipes away the painful memories of the birth experience and seeing the beauty of a finished project eases the pain in your shoulders ever so slightly. So even though you know it's going to be VERY painful you move forward. Now if you know me then you know that once I get my mind set on something that I have to have it done yesterday (my husband HATES this about me!). So even with the memories of past projects quickly rushing back into my mind, complete with a faint ache in my shoulders, I decided to continue on with my nightmarish task which was at hand to accomplish.

The kitchen cabinets in my house are old, and the finish has faded & peeled in spots - but the wood itself is just fine. So I started with the lower cabinets, I emptied the drawers, removed the doors, took off the hardware, and then took the doors & drawers out to the deck to start sanding. Now like I said - painting is not my favorite thing in the world these days but can I say that actually sanding is truly NOT my favorite thing in the world these days! Sanding those darn doors and the cabinets to prep them for the paint was laborious. But once you start a darn project like this you truly don't have any choice but to finish it. It took all day and my husband had a set of raised eyebrows when he came home that night for he could not see the "grand vision" that I had of what my new kitchen would look like once completed, but at the end of the day - I was excited and loving how it was beginning to take shape.

Jessie was supposed to help me complete the kitchen but with all the excitement of how cool it was turning out she was eager to start in on her own project (we'd purchased paint for her to redo her own room). So long story short - she ditched me so she could head up to her own room to get busy painting and redecorating it. Thus leaving me to my own nightmare the next day - sad day!

Of course that meant emptying the cabinets, removing the doors, and the hardware and then sanding everything down. Now on the upper cabinets since they were going to be lighter I chose to paint the brown into all the crevasses so that I could distress the cabinets after I was through painting and reveal the dark spots on all the edges. This step took a little longer to complete than I had thought but the end result was worth it!

Once all the cabinet doors were hung and hardware was back in place I pulled out my cute little Close To My Heart sanding block and went to work on all the edges - sanding and distressing yet once again, but this time with purpose. The result is a beautiful effect that makes the cabinets just pop!

Now, I know that Home Depot makes their money because they know all of us "home improvement buffs" who think we can do it ourselves will have to come back and forth to their store a billion times to get "one more thing" and so it was with this project - we'd miscalculate how many hinges we needed to replace or knobs or wow - now that the cabinets are done - we need to fix the lighting in here - the list goes on and on doesn't it? So after you've signed your life away to slavery in order to pay off your dept to Home Depot your work is complete and you can now enjoy the labors of your hands.

I love how the kitchen cabinets came out - it makes me so happy to be in my kitchen now that it's completed. Who'd have thunk that I could have painted my cabinets and actually have them turn out?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I need some Ketchup and how fast!

Man oh man, life happened and then it happened again! I thought I would be so good and would be a postin fool but I had to eat my words because I posted and then disappeared. If anyone is still out there a readin' my slop you are truly my friends who have stuck around and waited so patiently for me to get my ketchup a going. Thank you!

Let's see how much I can cram into this one bitty posting...

Where I left off last - oh ya - I'd headed out to California last year for Leadership. I stayed a few days with my dad and visited my grandma while I was there as well.

Can I just say that it was sweet visit with my grandma? I over heard her saying her morning prayers one day and was so touched as she sat on the edge of her bed with her head bowed praying to be "a better mother, grandmother and friend". I thought of my own life and was I praying to be "a better wife, mother and friend"? As my dear friend Cheryl would say: A small "spoonful of the gospel" was fed to me that morning and I have tried to take note and follow the example that was shown me.

After my visit I headed off to my Leadership conference. Convention and Leadership are the highlights of the year - so much fun!!! I get to see my dear friends, see all the new products and make a few crafts - it's just the best! We get spoiled with gifts and the food is amazing! This year we had the most decadent chocolate desert - it was just chocolate death to die for!

But alas all good things come to an end and before I knew it it was time to head back home. While it is always good to be home I knew that I would not be home for long and that my life would soon be changing. For if you remember, my oldest daughter Kara was accepted to BYU and would be heading off for college within just a few weeks of my return from Leadership. Getting her ready to head off to college was a hoot! We took several shopping trips to buy groceries and much needed items for her dorm room - packing it all into the car was the trick and boy did we pack it in there! We set off early in the morning as we planned to make the trip in one day. Can I just say that I do not enjoy the drive to Utah from where we live? It is just so boring and much of it you just see dirt blowing around. One thing that I did though enjoy was that we were able to spot so many temples along the way. So many have been built since I last made this trip via car and I'd not realized just how many stood out like beacons on the hilltops. Truly a magnificent sight to behold!
We spent the week at my aunts house while we got Kara set up in her dorm room, with her new orthodontist etc. It was a great week until it was time to come home. I actually was pretty proud of myself for keeping it together and not bawling my head off as we left Kara at the Y - and I probably would have done just fine but as we headed out that morning for home I looked in the rear view mirror and noticed how empty the car was now and Jessie chimed in "just think in another couple of years we'll be doing this for me too" and that was it - I just started bawling and I cried off and on again the rest of the ride home.
Of course life goes on and we learn to pick ourselves back up and keep moving as the pioneers did long ago. But the pain I feel for the loss of my child - knowing full well that she's still here but she's just not HERE - that pain is real. I knew that college would be the best experience for her and that it would stretch her and help her to become the wonderful woman that she is destined to become. That bright hope is the light at the end of my dark tunnel - the thing that makes it all bearable. Knowing it is for the best and meant to be. She is missed. Not a day goes by that I don't think about her, miss her keen sense of humor or absentmindedly sent a plate for her at the table. Someday there WILL be another plate that we will have to take away for Jessie as she too will head off to college and then for Aaron - but for now I'm grateful for the comfort of seeing those plates on my dinner table each night.

Where did it go?

Time. Time and I have an issue to discuss. For some reason Time and I have not been friends as of late. While I have the best of intentions to be Time's friend, Time on the other hand thinks it's fun to just slip away and run in the oposite direction! I for one think that that is NOT what a friend does. Friends don't run in the opposite direction - they stick around and hopefully SLOW down to allow their friends to catch up. But Time is selfish and unfortunately hasn't waited for me and so alas I am on my own to catch up to Time and this blog.

I hope that you will still be my friend and will wait for me as I try to catch up to Time and this blog. Hopefully Time has not abandoned you but if he has, know that I am right there with you and I will not abandon you!

Stay tuned for more updates....