Friday, November 30, 2012

Work Lunch.

So, I have found a disadvantage to bloggimg again. While I was overseas, I never had any issue with posting whatever entered my head. No censoring (well, there was some, but you know what I mean... only for the purposes of avoiding deportation). Now, with a good, quality job I'd like to keep, I want to at least be aware of what I am saying for the entire world to read. This only results in me having nothing I feel confortable saying.

Case in point: Today I went on a work lunch. It was great. Really great. But that's about all I feel comfortable saying about it. Well now, that's inherently lame. But here we are. So, I am foreseeing more lame blogs if I talk about anything work related.

Right now Kyle is over because Melissa is in Portland and I am schooling everyone at pool. It's lovely. Because that's how I roll. :)

Oh, and I'm watching a terrible football game (Stanford and UCLA), but a girl won a $100,000 scholarship for winning the football toss game. So worth it.

Ok, time to go play again!

(Hey, it's a post... even if it sucks.)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Kids' Rooms

As promised, here are the pics of the kids rooms the first day we moved in. The rooms are not complete yet, but they were a pretty good start considering we'd been moving all day. Again, a HUGE thanks to our wonderful friends who made my dream of the kids rooms being fully functional a reality: Melissa, Jamie, Damon, Ian, and Kyle. And thank you to Marcia and Mimi and Papa for keeping my kids entertained, fed, and clean while we were getting it done. :) We love you all!

Kaden's room... he couldn't decide on his theme so we went with blue and red, which includes Cars, Optimus Prime, and Spiderman. Winning.

A second view of K's room.

Kaden's shelf and the bathroom door Ian so awesomely decorated. 

Kaden loves his toilet. :)

K, "Take a picture of me IN my new bed, Mom!"

Li-Li's room. The blankey hanging from her crib (lovely made by the awesome Aunt Justiney), was my inspiration for her room. Expect more zebra print in her room's future. 

View # 2...

# 3 (and Lila and Daddy ready for Mom to get out for night night time).

Jack's room!

Second view. He LOVES his room.

Lila, at the big girl table with the family for the first time AND first meal in the new house.

Jackson is excited about dinner time. :)

All of our stuff in the house and ready to eat!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Blah Day.

I feel totally lame, but I have no idea what to blog about today. I think it’s because my brain is totally fried. I have no had enough sleep all week (meaning, last week too), and just can’t catch a time for relaxation. Last night Stu asked if I wanted to set up the router for the home surveillance system for ease of access, or watch TV… I chose the former and spent the next two hours fighting with the stupid router and still not getting it to work. What a waste.

Today I have worked all day, written a paper, done homework, and I have class tonight after work so I am not going to get much of a break there either. I am hoping Stu got the elliptical back set up from the move today so I can start working out again. I keep doing this… I work out for a week solid (I found out that if I want until after night class and then do it, there are no days I excuse myself away because of baby time or hanging out… I have no excuse at ten at night not to work out) and then don’t for one reason or another and completely fall off the bandwagon again.

Yeah, like I said, totally lame today. Sorry. Here’s a Tard pic (my favorite cat of all time) to glee you.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

On Work...

As promised, it is time to talk more about work. :) Now, I have been pretty lucky when it comes to jobs. I have had very few jobs in my life that I didn't like, much less hated, because I always waited to accept jobs that felt like a good fit. I cannot imagine having to spend the majority of my time somewhere I hate.

My current job is my second-favorite job of all time, but only because I absolutely LOVED my job at the Attorney General’s Office. It had great people, the work was awesome, and it felt like what I did mattered. Here, it is mostly the same… I feel like my job makes an impact on more than myself… but there have definitely been people at this job that I could have gone my life without knowing and it would have been an even more enjoyable experience.

BUT, the biggest part of loving your job is having fun and being happy while you are there. So here is a photo montage of why my job is fun. I work hard AND play hard, and that makes all the difference.

I was going to tell you more about David, my partner in crime at work, but he’s being a butt and won’t let me take a picture of him, so I stalked his Facebook account and stole the creepiest one I could find. J Teach him to say no to my photo opportunities.

Here is creepy David.

Here are our places of productivity… his to the right and mine to the left… it looks cluttered and crazy, but that is typically exactly the way of our job… hurry up and wait. Run around like a head with your chicken cut off to meet a deadline, then surf the web for the whole next day. Such is life.

Now here are some of our friends… First, we decided to do the "Fish! Philosophy"... it has kind of died out, but it began with us definitely having more fun and "playing" more, which lead to more excitement and camaraderie among us. We have since lost a few members to another group here, so our whole group is only four employees, and we all love each other, so the playing was kind of a moot point. 

And this is my very proper monkey, Sped, ready for a hard day's work. 

Here's the dart board. It's useful for two reasons... to relieve tension when dealing with fucktards, and to kill time when work is slow. All pieces of the dart board are made with office supplies. 

And what is a healthy work environment without motivation? Below is my personal brand of motivation (the terribly sarcastic kind), courtesy of David. 

(^ "fish tank")

(^not so much motivation as much as it is reality in our profession.)

And this is the view from the office. It's a cloudy day, but I get a nice uninterrupted view of the foothills (when David lets me open the blinds... I think he has that sunlight allergy. :)) Silly pod people.

And that's where I spend my days. Most says it's full of quiet working, but sometimes there is laughter and silliness too. I love my job. :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Back to Work.

It’s pretty hard to unpack when you have to be at work all day. Turns out. But, it WAS kind of nice to be back to my routine somewhat. Life over the past week and a half has been so scattered and crazy at times, and work is at least predictable. J BUT, I am pretty far behind and today was basically one huge catch-up game that I am nowhere close to finishing. But alas, there is also tomorrow and Wednesday and Thursday and…

I am going to post more about work soon. Stay tuned. J

Sunday, November 25, 2012

First Day in the New House

The days simply cannot be restful. We got up this morning and had to rush over to Marcia’s after breakfast so Stu could take a test and we found out they had turned the internet off on our old house even though we said it needed to stay on at BOTH houses until it was fully up and running at the new house. Silly them for completely not listening. Crap.

But we got to get Marcia’s heavenly German pancakes, so it was definitely worth it. She helped us out by watching the kids and then we went by the old house to get a few more things we needed NOW before it was suddenly lunch and nap time. I went grocery shopping and then Stu had to run to Lowe’s and before we knew it, it was time to get ready for the work week (meaning locate a bra that wasn't a sports bra and play the game of finding a pair of shoes that wasn't tennis shoes in all of the still-packed crap… super fun games). Bed time went much better and everyone slept through the night without incident (although Jack gets up earlier and earlier it seems). 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Moving Day.

(Forgive the late posting… we still do not have internet access at home, so these had to wait to be posted.)

Moving Day.

The amazingly wonderful Miss Melissa showed up at the literal crack of dawn with gifts of Moxie Java for the three of us, and we set to unpacking the fridge. The movers arrived and did a fairly speedy job of leading up the heavy crap (seriously worth the expense… we’d have been moving for another month if we hadn't had their help). Stu, Melissa, and I loaded our cars until they were packed to the brim and then set off to the new house (that teeny paragraph does NOT do justice the effort and backaches that actually accompanied the move, but I’ll let it go. J)

My biggest concern was to make sure the kids’ rooms were set up before they moved in for the first time that night. I remember moving as a kid and it can be scary and weird for little kids, so I wanted it to be as “fun” as possible for them. Their rooms are freaking awesome. I will have to post pictures when I either remember my camera, or have internet at home (Tuesday), but I am super happy with how they look. They will definitely be a work in progress, but that is the nature of buying a house, so I am very open to the opportunity.

Amazingly, we did get the rooms fully functional before I had to go pick up the kids, and my amazing friends took the time I was gone to pick up pizza and the kids to vacuum and finish straightening up my house so the kids were truly “coming home.” They are amazing and I am so happy for the true, quality friends I have in my life.

The first night was a little rough. Jackson was TERRIFIED of his new room and big boy bed and was sad, waking up 3 times in the night, but by Sunday night he was good to go. The kids are LOVING the space they have now and Jasper likes it too. Stu and I are just thrilled. Things have all gone well (except for a teensy issue with the fridge threatening now to fit through the opening into the kitchen, but Melissa was certain it would fit, so we measured it and we got it to work before they dismantled the whole freaking thing). We love the room and our bedroom and bathroom and the family room is amazing, the pool table is a blast, and we are all-around just so happy. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

This is it...

... our last night in our home. It's such a true bitter-sweet feeling. While I am overjoyed that we are becoming even more "grown up" and doing things in the interest of benefiting our family in the long-run, it is hard to know that this is goodbye to a place where we have created so many memories together as a family. I know it is less about the physical place and more about the memories we keep, but it is the tangible aspect that ties my memories to "home."

Kaden and I picked out this house while Stu was still in Abu Dhabi. It was so nerve wrecking for me to go from making every single decision alongside my husband, to making huge life decisions on my own. I was also in my first trimester of my pregnancy with Jackson and that made it all the more emotional.

Kaden and I moved in with so little... he had a bed in his room and that was literally it for a while. I slept alone in a HUGE bed in the middle of the room and bolted upright at every strange sound. It actually makes me smile to remember how terrified and unsure I was of everything. I didn't feel comfortable so much of the time and a lot of that had to do with not being able to make decisions on my own.

But I managed to purchase two cars and pick out a house for our growing family that certainly became home. We've brought two babies home to this house. It's hard to let it go.

BUT, I am incredibly excited to start this next chapter in our new house. I know how much fun Stu and I are going to have continually updating and changing it to fit our needs. I am happy with the neighborhood so far and our neighbors are nice, so I am going in with a positive outlook. Still... I definitely got emotional a couple times today. It's tough.

And now back to last-minute packing while my muscles continue to burn and my eyes are desperate for sleep. Maybe next month I'll get enough sleep and can rest. :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012.

A typical Thanksgiving when I was younger consisted of my whole family getting together, playing with cousins all day and eating appetizers for hours before finally stuffing ourselves to the brim with thanksgiving dinner. Today was not a normal Thanksgiving day.

I began my day getting up at the crack of dawn with Jackson (my bad sleeper) after having gone to bed well after midnight because Stu was working on the new house and I can't fall asleep if I know he's not "safe." (Lord help me when I have teenagers.) We watched Madagascar and then I made a 3-course breakfast for the kiddos because we were out of cereal (I'm nothing if not resourceful :)). Then I set to work packing and going through ads to make sure there were no killer Black Friday deals that I couldn't pass up.

Well, turns out Fred Meyer was not only open on Thanksgiving, but staging an awesome sale to boot! I had been stressed about Kaden not having a bed yet and found that FM had amazing deals of full beds, so I called Stu to let him know to meet me there with the truck and then (after a delay to "fix" Lila, who decided to tackle the stairs head-first immediately before our departure) took them to play at Marcia and Deven's (and Mimi's) so we could get the bed set up. As it happened, there were also good deals on comforters and sheets as well as the bed, so we scored a set for Kaden's new bed (a size we didn't already have sheets for) and for our own (because EVERYONE needs more than one set of flannel sheets for winter). The sales guy was hilarious and we ended the trip on a great note. Then, when we got to the house, I was determined to "do it myself."

I have to digress a bit here to explain something about myself. I believe (and I know I am wrong to believe so, just go with it) that there are "boy" things and "girl" things. Even though I am the breadwinner of my family and my husband is a stay-at-home Dad, I do, in most cases, subscribe to gender roles. (I know, I know... I never hear the end of it sometimes and my friend David actually forces me to do things he knows I've labelled "boy things" because, as a believer in gender equality, it irks him to no end.)

This is not to say that I think women are in any way "weaker" than men, but we are (again, typically) biologically different and to try to force equality in every facet of life, for the sake of just being "equal", with no regard for biology or chemistry of the brain, is, to me, stupid. I will debate this till the cows come home, but there's probably no swaying me.

Having said all that, I do think a woman should have the ABILITY to do "boy things" herself if necessary... my husband could die in a car accident tomorrow and if I've never used a clicky thingy (ratchet), then where would I be when I need to put together a new furniture item?

 So, digression aside, I wanted to put the bed frame together myself. So here is what I started with:

While he laughed at me throughout, and, determined to "help," Stu put something on wrong without actually reading the directions (a boy, after all), but I basically did it all by myself. I didn't get the right tools from the garage, but he did make me follow him out there (in the cold... where I whined about how necessary this actually was) to see where they live, but I'm confident that I could have if I'd had to... I located a screwdriver from the same tool box two days prior.

So, I set to work using the wrench and clicky thingy (ratchet, again) to get all the pieces aligned and sturdy. Here is the final product, I think it definitely won't completely fall apart any time soon.

After our bed building hiatus, I finished the "scene" in Jackson's room (below), which I am pretty stoked about. I know he will absolutely love having "panes" in his very own room. :)

We eventually rushed home to where my awesome cousin, Flower, and her friend Alex, were watching my napping kids, changed from sweats and a wet bun into a frilly shirt and 6-minute straightened hair and two more swipes of blush, while my husband impatiently noted that my "minute" was up... a look which I was thrice complimented on, btw. :)

As is always the case when it comes to food-eating-gatherings, I am blessed to be from a family of amazing cooks. My uncle made a horseradish and cranberry glaze for the turkey that was freaking awesome and will have to meet some of my pork in the not-so-distant future. Mimi and Marcia made tons of yummy fixin's and of course the turkey, and then WAY too much holy-crap-yum dessert. It was all awesome, as was the company. However, in the future, I would prefer a more relaxed, non-moving holiday. :)

Tomorrow is our last day in this house and to prepare for the "big move" (so if anyone finds themselves lacking quality activities to engage in on Saturday, come on over! :)), so I have a TON to get ready tomorrow.

Also, if you can avoid it, never move with small children. Not only can we not really have them at the new house because there are ample choking hazards from all the drilling and changing we've done that has yet to be thoroughly cleaned up, but as we have packed their toys and "stuff," they sure are getting moody. I think they know something is up and they are just feeling extra clingy and stressed as a result.

We took Jasper over today to visit his new house and he seems pretty stoked. He can see through the windows in the back yard now because they are low and it was hilarious watching him run from window to window watching us inside. He sniffed the ENTIRE house, too, so apparently we are good to go now. It's Jasper approved. :)

I purposefully decided against doing the "Month of Thanks" thing on FB this year for two reasons. First, I did it last year and there were some days I had a hard time coming up with things to be thankful for, and that seems counter-intuitive, and second, I knew how busy we would be. As you can see from the shorter posts, some days even keep up on the blog project has been hard enough. I am incredibly glad, so far, that I have decided to do it, though.

All that said, I do want to take a minute and say that this year, and on this day, I am thankful first and foremost for my absolutely amazing family, from my immediate to my extended family. They help us out so much from childcare to driving my kids all over the place, to just being able to take them at a moment's notice if we need to run an errand. My family loves me unconditionally and I am forever grateful for the quality, loving people I am blessed to call my family. I am thankful for Stu... he drives me fucking crazy a lot of the time, but  he makes me happier than anyone else ever has, and he is hands-down my best friend in the world. I am thankful for my job, without which I would never be buying my first house (which, of course, I am also incredibly thankful for), and I never would have met the amazing people I work with and have grown to care deeply for. I am thankful for my own, and my family's, health and am so thankful we have never had a serious illness or broken bone (fingers crossed!) thus far with the kids. Above all else, I am so incredibly grateful for the three amazing people who call me "Mom." I have never been so happy, silly, or full of love as I have been since I became a mother, and even more so as I have added to my brood. They are my reason for literally everything I do, and I only hope I am helping them become good, happy people that will one day change the lives of those around them, because they have certainly changed mine for the better with their very existence. I love you to the MOON, Kaden, Jackson, and Lila!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


So I knew this moving thing was going to be hard ... but my goodness. I. AM. EXHAUSTED. I am ready to start just throwing away the bags and boxes I've packed and say forget it. Today consisted of more packing while feilding whining and requests for sustenance from the midgets I live with, applying for our homeowner's exemption, and running by work and between houses. I am hoping for a little more downtime tomorrow... if for no other reason than Lowe's is closed for the holiday. :) It's the little things, right?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

More House.

My parents and Maddy had to leave this morning so we said our goodbyes and then I set to work packing the kids rooms and starting on our room. This feels so slow-going. Every time I get another box packed, it seems like I've barely touched anything. But, though it's slow, progress is progress. I am happy to be doing it. Still feeling super excited to actually get to move. Stu has been over there all day installing the security system and working with the electrician and carpet cleaners, so we are even closer to actually getting moved in. Thankfully, with the carpets done, tomorrow morning when it has had enough time to dry, we can start moving things into the carpeted areas of the house and actually setting some of the smaller things up (read: NOT heavy items). I am excited to watch it begin to take shape.

I finally had a chance to post from a real computer and not my kindle, so here are some pics of the kids investigating their new digs on Friday when they got to take a peek at the house for the first time. We had a picnic of McDonald's (a rare treat) on the floor and let everyone get used to the new place.

Lila, checking out the living room.

Jackson's wasn't sure what to think at first. 

Little girl in a big room.

"Ok, these are AWESOME!"

The kids found out they can RUN through the house. :)

With no toys, they were resourceful. 

Picnic dinner in the dining room. :)

Prepping Jack's room to paint.

Lila's room, pre-paint.

Lila's room post-paint. 

Jackson's skyline. 

I need to take some more once I get back over there. I didn't get any of Kaden's room after the paint, but these are just a preview before the rooms are actually set up. :) I've been having WAY too much fun with this. Hehe.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Done painting.

So I spent another day painting and finally finished! I painted a tree in Lila's room and a city skyline in Jackson's. They both came out great and basically exactly as I'd hoped, so I am very pleased. BUT, it was an exhausting three days and I am glad to finally be done.

Now it is time to get in serious packing mode and get everything done and ready to go for Saturday. I am getting somewhat anxious about getting it all done, but my Mom helped out amazingly today and got the whole playroom and pantry packed and ready to go. I have the kids rooms pretty close to done and the rest will be the stuff the movers will take (the huge, heavy stuff), so hopefully we can get everything packed and moved on Saturday with the gracious friends who have offered to help and the movers.

I am really hoping to have things somewhat set up and functional on Saturday and Sunday because I have to go back to work on Monday morning. I am getting SO EXCITED to move though. We've had some hiccups along the way (if anyone knows of a good electrician... we need their services stat) but overall I am just thrilled to have so much more room and get the house and the rooms set up for living (and Christmas!).

More Painting.

What a day. I put in about 9 solid hours of more painting today and finished the kids' rooms. My parents are here and my Dad and Stu worked on getting new light fixtures installed. That was harder than expected, but it gave me and Maddy a chance to shoot a little pool. Now it is late ti bed and a too-early start tomorrow.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Who knew painting was such a strenuous, tedious task? Maybe if I would have been prepared for exactly how long of an endeavor this would be... or if I'd have known my kids would NOT be helpful, I might have taken on less of a task................... ok, probably not. Still, I spent the whole day painting Lila's room and finally finished the trim and baseboard at 5:00, in time to rush home for dinner, make another Lowe's (bless them) trip, and then jammies and bed for the kiddos. Stu and I did take time to watch The X Factor and now it is bedtime for all. My parents are coming down tomorrow, and I am incredibly excited to use my Dad as a consultant on the new house and the things we want to do with it. :) Looking forward to tomorrow.... Just hoping I can walk. Sooooore Momma right now.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Playroom Babes.

Guess what? WE GOT KEYS!!!! Woot woot! And moving in begins! It's pretty exciting and is actually starting to feel legit real now. We own our very own house. Where our kids will grow up. It's pretty exciting.

Last night, as with most Thursday nights, was super fun. My kids don't get to see me at night until Thursdays because of night school and by then, we ALL want to hang on each other and just play. Because of house stuff, we headed off to Lowe's right after dinner, so when we got home, he went straight to the playroom to unwind before it was jammie time and bed. My kids are getting so old and SO. MUCH. FUN. I thought the sweet, yummy-smelling, cuddly newborn baby was the best stage until all of my kids are hilarious and have their very own personalities and attitudes and selves. I could play with them for hours and (full disclosure) I am not a big pretend player. But they make it fun. Here are some cell phone pics from last night. Just a bunch of goof balls in this house and I am thankful my kids got my totally nerdy side. :)

 So we are headed to the house in a bit to look around and take it in. We will start the moving process this week and next and will hopefully have it go smoothly. (fingers crossed)

Tonight I get a rare Girls Night with Jo and Becky to go see Breaking Dawn Part 2! I am so excited. What an amazing month this has been already and it is barely even half over! :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Talk about a long time coming! Stu and I started house hunting while we were still overseas. We went back and forth on whether we wanted to rent or buy and essentially continued to go back and forth on that decision (What if I lose my job? What if we decide to move? What if, what if, what if...?). Well, yesterday all of that culminated in signing our lives (and bank accounts) away for the next 30 years. Seeing the "last payment" date of 2042 was a kick in the gut, but with hope, it will be nowhere near that long! :)

I felt a little bit sick yesterday and wondered if I had eaten something that didn't agree with me. Then I realized what a huge step this was and that I was just incredibly nervous. The actual process of closing went completely smooth, and very laid-back and joking throughout.

I also wanted to send a shout-out to our Realtor, Tim Burroughs of Keller Williams Realty. While he's a bit quirky, he's been working with us since 2008 and has never once made us feel pressured to buy on any timeline but our own. I believe he genuinely had our best interests in mind. Every time we wanted to see a house, he set up a showing almost immediately and we are generally happy with the service he provided. Similarly, I was very happy with John Neil at USBank for our loan. While we're name dropping, if you need a Home Inspection, go with Dan Kopp at Valley Home Inspection. :)

I am so excited to get the keys tomorrow and get in to start painting and cleaning and then MOVING! So, if anyone wants to help us move, we're doing the final move on Saturday, November 24th. :)