Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fine, Walt you're off the hook

So I was rather bothered by my little realization that most Disney movies are missing a good mother in their lives. So I typed that concern into google and it turns out others have thought this same thing as well. There was actually some pretty good reasons why the mothers are so frequently absent. It all comes down to the fact that the characters in these movies are usually portrayed as heroes, overcoming the odds stacked against them. If they had a mother in their life then we wouldn't feel so sorry for them, it would give them someone to talk some sense into them and give them comfort when they need it. Also, it would eliminate a lot of the motherly roles such as the fairy god mother, the tea pot in Beauty and the Beast, and other leading roles that play out in the form of a best friend. I wonder if Ariel had a mother if she really would have wanted to be human, perhaps it would have been too hard to leave her life under the sea if she were leaving her mother behind. So, I feel better now. Plus, my sister Jamie pointed out that Walt Disney wasn't writing these stories, he was merely producing age old fairy tales into softer versions. Ahhhh, my world is at peace once again :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Come on Walt, why don't you just come out and say it

Sadly, Emma has been watching a lot of movies lately so I can keep working. I have noticed a rather disturbing pattern in the fact that most Disney movies either don't have a mother in them at all, or the mother had died, or she is replaced by an evil step mother. Did Walt Disney have a bad mother? Why has this trend continued even after his death? In Princess and the Frog the girl was driven by her father's influence and wanted to make him proud, even though her mother was still a part of her life. Anyway, these are the movies that make me think...
Evil stepmother
-Snow White
No mention of mother to begin with
-Beauty and the Beast
-Little Mermaid
Mother is killed or captured
-Finding Nemo
-Fox and the hound
Dad gets the spotlight
-Princess ad the Frog
-Lion King
Those are just a list of the movies that I can think of. Peter Pan is probably the only movie that had an accurate depiction of parents, but the rest of those are just fishy to me. Just had to get this off my chest.

Friday, August 27, 2010

starting to look like home

Before we left for Oregon we had help from my darling cousin (little sister I always wanted) Kylee and her rockin' husband Brody and also Bundy's good friend Ryan Millet. They helped paint and do man projects around the house for the whole two months before we moved in. My mom and my Aunt Lee and Kylee were great to come and help paint, tend Lydia, and just give me moral support. The help means so much. Also, my friend Carrie was especially good about keeping Emma for me so I could get things done.

We were sleeping on the floor on a mattress before we left and for a good week or so after our return. I didn't mind it so much except our house was literally crawling with spiders, which are my arch enemy. Mice, no problem. Snakes, what's the big deal. Spiders....what my nightmares are made of.

The girls have been sooooo good to still play and go about their day. Yes there are boxes to play in and it's fun to see how excited Emma is to have some of her old toys back that have been boxed up for nine months. However, we are constantly working on the house and only stop on Sundays, which we have all grown to appreciate the importance of actually keeping the sabbath day holy, we're working on it, and really enjoying it in the process.

Lydia had the roughest adjustment, at first. Living with my parents, being farmed out to the Jensens and my parents while we moved in here. Staying four nights in Oregon with my sister. Another 6 nights with Ryan's family, then back "home" to a place that had yet to become home. On top of that we all got quite sick and none of us were ourselves. It was kind of touch and go there for a while. Now, however, Lydia is back to her old happy little self and just a joy to have around.

Emma has had some form of a delayed reaction to all of the change and stress and has become VERY clingy, to me especially. So I try to schedule as many play dates as possible, and as long as she has a friend over or she is at a friend's house then everyone is happy. Below is Lily who lives down the street and has been a close friend since birth. That's chalk on their face.

Emma is surrounded by boy cousins everywhere she turns, except for this one little gem, Milly. They play sooooo well together. I found them out in the common area with every single toy Emma owns, they had taken their"kids" camping. I didn't even care about the mess and toys that would be lost, they were having the best time and I was getting things done.

My parents stopped by today to help Bundy get started on the jungle that we call a yard. The inside of our house needs so much work that we haven't even taken a minute to work on the yard. Above and below are some before photos...yikes stripes! In the above photo that's my dad in the black shirt pulling out some shrubs.

Emma and Milly enjoyed playing with the snails that Bundy dug up for them. I love little girls who aren't sissys!

My mom is such a great example of jumping "roles." She can work in the yard just as hard as any man. She's not afraid to take a load to the dump or to get out and mow the lawn herself. I wish I could say I was like her in this aspect of my life, but sadly, I am not. Nor do I have an interest to be. But I did go to the dump all by myself while Ryan was sick and I thought "Good for me!"

Here is an "after" photo of my dad and Bundy talking about all there is to do still.

Bundy starts his new job on Monday at Market Star. So we've been working like fools and certain walls of our house are starting to actually look like a home. We're going to go back to our real lives on Monday and be on a better schedule for the girls. We're still very overwhelmed but are pleased and thankful for how far we've come.

Below is the view from Emma's bed. I bought her this string of lights at Cannon Beach and I don't know who loves them more, Emma or myself. It makes for the PERFECT night light.

Look at that sweet little face, she is sooooooo fun to make the extra effort for. She tells me every day how much she loves her room and how thankful she is for it. These photos are of her looking at her flower wreath and night light.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A few things I've learned

I love decorating and making a home. I like to have a nice place that Ryan can come home to after work. This home is where my children's childhoods will play out, not at the dinosaur park or the pool, their home is what they will remember and where the most important decisions and memories will be made. I don't believe you have to spend a lot of money to have a nice home, you just have to keep it clean, and have it be a reflection of your taste and style. I'm sure many people are unimpressed by our old shabby pillars randomly throughout the house. But to me they remind me that not everything is machine made, bright and shiny. I love to have decorations from a different time and from a different generation. Knowing that a piece I have in my home once belonged in someone else's. So as we have been remodeling this home we have bought I have come up with some tips inside my head and I know if I don't write them down, I will forget them.

* KILZ paint is the ONLY way to go. Sure it might be a few more dollars, and it doesn't always work for just one coat. However, it rolls on the best and dries fast so that you can begin your second coat without having to give it time to dry. I branched out last night to Dutch Boy and spent the rest of the evening sorely regretting it.
* If you are the type of person who likes to do things yourself, either to save money or for the principle of being capable, well then my advice is to splurge on quality tools. My mom made me buy the really nice paint brushes, I would have gone for whatever the cheapest items Wal-Mart was offering. I'm so glad she helped me see the light. For one, you can re-use paintbrushes, so invest in a good one. For two, you're saving loads of money by painting yourself, so splurge and make it as easy for you as possible.
* Before you enlist people's help in your home makeover projects, make sure they know what they're doing. I had a friend tell me that she isn't a good painter, but she would be happy to help still. No thanks. I appreciated her honesty and willingness, but that was a pass for me.
* KSL- use the local classifieds. We have bought door knobs, wood baseboards, lawn mower, hired services, all for nearly half the cost of what our local home improvement store is charging.
* Go neutral. I love color, I do. However, I adore my sister's house and she doesn't have one colored wall, except for in her daughter's room, and even that is a muted pink. Her whole house looks so much more elegant in all neutral tones. I did not follow this piece of advice, but I still think it is good advice.
* FROG TAPE! Frog tape is the best painter's tape on the market. Although it is a little more expensive then your standard blue tape, the job is superior. You do still have to run your finger along the edge to seal it, but it works every time. Especially if you need crisp lines with no bleeding, for stripes or for textured walls.
* Don't be afraid to rearrange your kitchen. My mom came to our old house and rearranged it after we had lived there for five years and it brought a whole new life to the efficiency of my cupboards. Even in this new kitchen, I am moving cupboards and drawers around almost every day. Your kitchen just needs a good flow.
* Wal-mart online has a large selection of light fixtures, surprise, surprise, they are the cheapest on the market.
* Pottery barn is over priced, and eventually everything makes it's way to Down East home. Hang in there if you see something you must have, you don't HAVE to pay full price.
* Get inspired. Tour a friend's home, look through decorating magazines and blogs. I like to punch in a phrase I need inspiration on under "google images." Then pages and pages of "pink girls room" or "green bathroom" or "distressed painted door" show up and I just scroll through until something inspires me and then I start my process from there. I am touring a friend's home today. She thinks her home is simple and small, but I know it will give me what I need to finish my master bedroom.
* Home Goods is a branch of TJ Maxx, except WAY better. There is one in SLC and multiple locations in other states. Anything you need for the home can be found there, and it has more style and less cost than any other home decor store I can think of.
* "Spoon Me" can hit the spot like nothing else when you've been working all day in a hot house.

Alright, that's all I've got for now. No doubt there will be more to come, likely with photos next time.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bundy Visit

After visiting my family we went and spent the rest of the week with the Bundys. Again, I disappointed myself with the lack of photo I took, but here are some. Above we are in the gorge with my sister-in-law/dear friend Julie. We enjoyed a long, beautiful hike up to Oneita falls. On our hike up there we passed three large waterfalls, going behind one of them, and playing in the water at the top of the last one. Emma was such a champ for doing the 4.5 mile hike in her crocs! Also, Ryan dared her to lick a slug and she did! They both did. It's something that was learned at outdoor school, it makes your tongue numb. Emma is such a champ! At the top of the falls we all waded our feet. The water was freezing but felt so good. It was all we could do to keep Lydia from swimming in the river, but we stripped her down and let her wade. I'm so glad that we have girls who love the outdoors and who we can train to be a little bit daring.

Emma had so much fun with her Bundy cousins. We went to the duck pond to pick blackberries, feed the ducks, and let the kids have races. We didn't intend on picking so many blackberries but we had enough to come home and make a yummy cobbler with them. It was a perfect Sunday evening.

On our last day we went to the zoo with Grandpa Clay. The girls loved it but I think Ryan and his dad loved it even more, especially since they brought their laser pointers.
We had such a great time with the Bundys and hopefully it won't be two years before we make it home again!

Skeen Reunion

This is our LONG lost friend Rachel. She is the one in the black top and was the best friend to me and two of my sisters. It had been ten years since we had seen her and it was so nice reconnecting.

We just went to Oregon (where my family is from) and celebrated my parent's 40th wedding anniversary. My parents "sponsored" our trip as they call it, so that we could all afford to have a family vacation together. I am SICK that I didn't take more photos, but here is what I have. Stacey and Todd were gracious hosts and had such a fun agenda for us. Here are a list of some of our activities....
boating on the Columbia
hiking in Washougal
swimming in their pool
late night card playing
BBQ dinners every night
Downtown Portland for one day playing in the fountains and at the Rose Garden
a day at Cannon Beach (my most favorite place on Earth and I have NO photos!)
hours and hours of the cousins playing games together
Thanks for our best reunion yet parents! Happy anniversary!

Green Gables

We just spent nearly two weeks in Oregon. The first few days was with my family and the last of the trip was with Ryan's family. My sister Stacey just bought her dream home which has turned into the dream home of all those who enter. This house is 100 years old and just oozing with charm. I wish I would have done better to photograph my sisters decor style and all the little touches she has added to this home, but no such luck. My sister Stacey has more home decor style than anyone I know, and that's saying something, well, she and my mom are tied at the top of my list. This home is 6 bedrooms, music room, living room, two large family rooms, an office, a huge laundry room, and just many other splendid little details that you have to see to believe. The property is so beautiful and was just such a pleasure to have be the setting for our family reunion. So without further adieu, here are a few charming photos.

I love this stove, it looks like it belongs in Hogwarts

Friday, August 13, 2010

Farewell to Paradise

I have some great blog posts coming up about the changes in our lives, but I can't move onto those until I have a tribute to my time spent at my parent's new house in Paradise. I lived there from June 1st-July 28th....four weeks longer than anticipated. I loved EVERY SINGLE MINUTE OF IT. Being the youngest I have spent many years being alone with my parents, I LOVE having them all to myself and it was so nice to draw strength from them. They have the most peaceful spirit about their home and themselves and I just soaked up as much of it as I could.

I also love the insane amount of family I saw during my stay there. That will never happen again, but I loved the week day pop-ins and I know Emma was in cousin heaven. The views and weather were just so pleasant and I'm glad I was able to transition into this new life they have started and let go of being sad they sold (or are trying to) Liberty.

What I will miss:
Fresh flowers in the fridge
an endless supply of diet green tea
Lydia asking for Papa first thing in the morning
Emma not waking me up in the mornings (sorry parents, but at least I enjoyed it :)
Maple Bar doughnuts from Macy's
Having breakfast on the patio
The best hot tub ever made
The softest and highest quality carpet
Feeling like a kid again in the coziness of my parent's feathered nest

What I won't miss:
cement floors
tile floors
stone corners
a super duper heavy sliding patio door that the kids can't open themselves
being locked out while hot tubbing
the chirping birds in the morning
the hay fields agitating my allergies

Thanks mom and dad for all you have done for me. It might not seem like much to you, but it has made all the difference to me. I love you!