Wednesday, December 5, 2012

back in time

Tonight I was driving home and listening to Christmas music on the radio. Suddenly, O Come All Ye Faithful by Frank Sinatra came on, and instead of being in my car, I was instantly at my grandparents house in Bountiful just exactly as it was years ago. I could see my grandpa, in detail down to his perfectly combed white hair and his outfit. I could see my grandma, before she had Alzheimers, happy and warm and wonderful. I could see their tree in front of the window with its vintage ornaments, the colored globe on the mantle above the fire crackling in the fireplace. We were all there, my mom, my sisters and me. And Grandma and Grandpa. Snow was falling outside, piling up the way it always did at their house on the hill. But it didn't matter if a blizzard came, we were happy and cozy and safe.

I love how music can instantly take you back to such specific memories and moments in time. And I loved that it happened so unexpectedly tonight. My grandpa loved the crooners, and he loved to sing along and be dramatic and goofy. He always made things fun. And my grandma always made sure everyone was comfortable. She was the definition of warm and loving. I have been thinking about them a lot lately, missing them. They were both such wonderful people, and such amazing grandparents. They loved us SO much, and we always, always knew it, because we felt it in absolutely everything they did. I miss having them to talk to, giving them hugs, and just being around them. I was so fortunate to get to spend a great deal of time with them growing up, and while I always loved it, I don't think I fully realized what a blessing it was. There was so much to learn from both of them, their lives were examples in so many ways.

My kids are also blessed with wonderful grandparents--on both sides. I only really got to know one set of grandparents, so I feel like my kids are so blessed to have five grandparents. I hope they appreciate it. Right now, they both absolutely love and adore all five of them, but I hope as they grow, that love and respect will only grow as well. It's such a blessing to be able to grow up and know your grandparents and get to feel the love they have for you.

I'll always be grateful for mine, and I hope they know that. They have both done so much for me and I love them dearly. I hope I can always have moments where I can remember them as vividly as I did tonight, because it took me back to a wonderful place, a place I miss because they were there, they made it the warm, cozy, and safe place that it was, and I will always be grateful for that.

Monday, December 3, 2012

little house remodel

Last year Emi pretty much thought she was best friends with Dora. Like, really. So she ended up with "A Very Dora Christmas" as I think my Dad called it. Pretty much everything she got was somehow related to Dora. And she LOVED it. By her birthday she was already on to Rapunzel, and that lasted another 6 months or so...

But anyway, the main Dora gift that she received last year was a Dora dollhouse that Adam and I happened upon at Savers. It was in pretty good shape, and it was $5. We were so excited and I took the dollhouse over to my mom's and we washed it down and cleaned it up and I was so excited about giving Emi this present. I could hardly wait for Christmas.

Did I mention the dollhouse was empty when I bought it? Well that wasn't that big of a deal until I tried to purchase the furniture that was supposed to go in it. It turned out the dollhouse and all the furniture were discontinued. I had to turn to ebay, spend a small fortune, and deal with some creepy annoying sellers to finally furnish the house. But on Christmas Eve, I got everything out, set up the house, and went to bed as giddy as if I were little and it was for me.

And she loved it. She wasn't that interested in any of her other presents, she just wanted to play with the Dora house. To say it was a hit would be a serious understatement.

But I hadn't realized that we were at the tail end of the Dora wave we had been riding and she got tired of it fast. She just didn't care that much about Dora just a couple of months after Christmas. I got tired of the mess of it all in her room, so I packed it all up and put in on the top shelf of her closet for about 6 months. Sometimes she would ask me to get it down, but I'm sure she was mostly interested because it was up there and she couldn't get to it. I finally let her get it down about a month or two ago and it was like Christmas again that day, but she just hasn't really played with it that much since. Until she got out her new favorite thing, her Lalaloopsy dolls. They fit pretty well on the furniture, and it's actually a better size for them than for the Dora dolls that came with it. It's just that the Dora house is sort of, well...ugly, and the Lalaloopsy dolls are so cute. And it sort of bugged me.

So today Emi and I came up with the crazy idea to do a remodel on the Dora house. We went through my scrapbook paper, made a stop at Bennion Crafts for a few things, and came home to get started. I grossly underestimated how long it would take, and got everything out on the kitchen table right before dinner. Oops. Then Adam came home and saved me from having to measure the pieces of paper that were going on the walls. He's such a good sport. It because a family affair, and we worked on it all night. It is mostly done (just needs a few finishing touches), and I can't wait for Emi to see it. She went to bed before it was done, but I think she is going to love it. It is much more up to date, not so...South American and fits her Lalaloopsy dolls perfectly. Which is good, since this year it will be "A Very Lalaloopsy Christmas." You would think I would have learned...oh well. Here are some (not so great) before and after pictures of our family project.

ugly living room before

ugly bathroom, doorway before

ugly bedroom, upstairs before

another ugly bedroom upstairs, before

yay, cute wallpaper and dolls

bathroom wallpaper

she really wanted to paint the floor pink, so she did (I helped) and you can kind of see the cute wallpaper we did in this room

cute wallpaper in second room, upstairs

I don't have a before picture of the kitchen, but you can bet it was ugly, now it has cute polka dot wallpaper

cute stripes in between rooms, just because

a very, very pink floor

Any ideas on how we can make that tile-looking roof NOT orange?! Maybe spray paint. It could use a few more things, but I think it turned out cute. And we had a lot of fun. At one point after Emi was in bed, I was crying because I was laughing so hard. I love it when Adam and I work on projects together. It's been a long time since we've done something like this. Now to finish that dining room table we've had for 4 years...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

catching up with an old friend

When I was little, I had a friend whose name is also Allison. We used to play together a lot before I moved to Utah. We had some fun memories together, but we lost touch about 20 years ago. My mom and her mom were also friends, and they ended up getting in touch in July. It turned out Allison and her mom were going to be in Utah for a few hours so they stopped by my mom's house so we could all see each other. Allison has a little boy that I got to meet, and I introduced Emi to them as well. It was really fun to catch up after all these years.

Emi playing with her new friend Mason

moms of the Allisons

Mason, Allison, me and Emi

st. george

My uncle Fred passed away in July. Emi and I were able to go to St. George to help prepare for the funeral and spend time with the family. Even though a sad event got us together, we were able to have a lot of fun together as well. We reminisced a lot and went through tons of old photos. Since our family is mostly women, we had lots of girl time. Emi got to play with a lot of kids too and she loved that. I forgot how H-O-T it gets in St. George in the summer. I think it has been more than a decade since I was there in the middle of the summer. It was unreal. We hit the pool a few times and got some giant Icees. We were sad to leave at the end of the week, but we were both excited to see Adam, who had to stay home for school and work.

having a blast in the pool...her favorite thing

my mom and aunt Nancy

kissing Maddie

grooving to Sonja's music

dancing with the bigger girls

having fun with her new friend Shelley

Emi and me with my cousin Kristi

my mom and her sisters- Janine, Nancy and Karen

me and Emi with my cousin Lumina

summer fun

We had a crazy summer in our house. We tried to have a lot of fun but there was also a lot of school going on too. We were super busy but took lots of pictures of our adventures. We just didn't have any time to post them!

We went to Wyoming at the beginning of the summer to see Adam's grandparents who were in town from Houston. Emi and Kylee always have such a fun time playing together. Kylee drove Emi around in her truck and they also had a ton of fun playing with the hose outside. Emi LOVES water and kept sticking her head under the water even though it was freezing cold water. We love our trips to Wyoming!

going for a ride

this is how it started...


Sunday, September 19, 2010

shadesofjade designs giveaway

Announcing a shadesofjade designs giveaway! Starting Monday September 20 and ending Wednesday September 22. Go to the shadesofjade designs facebook page tomorrow for details on how to enter and what the prize is! Good luck!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

memorial day

We went to Wyoming for Memorial Day, as has become tradition. It's always fun to have an extra day to stay and play. Kevin and Jackie came as well but for some reason I don't have any pictures with them! I took most of the pictures on Sunday night and Monday after they had already gone home. We had fun though and the girls had a blast playing together. Five little girls ages 4 and was crazy!

Emi had a blast playing in the entertainment center

She also loved giving rides in the baby stroller to anyone who would take one

I think these two will be best friends in another year or two (they love each other now but the age difference is still pretty pronounced)

Kylee modeling the outfit I got her on my trip

Sunday night we went on the mountain and did fireworks. Look at the look on these two's faces...looking over their stash and deciding what to light first!

this one totally backfired and scared me to death!

me and Adam

Derek and Michelle

me and Mish watching the boys shoot fireworks at each other (seriously)

Aunt Michelle and the girls enjoying the sun on Monday before we left to come home