Sunday, September 27, 2009

It's great to be 8!

Dear Little "D",
It won't be appropriate to call you that too much longer as today is your 8th birthday! I know I have told you many times about the feelings I had on the day you were born, but I will always continue to tell you. When I was pregnant with you, the Dr. thought there were going to be some difficulties with the formation of some of your vital organs. For many weeks we worried what your struggles in life would be and whether or not we would be able to help you thrive in life. Through much prayer we knew that whatever challenges you would have we would support you , help you and make sure you would thrive in life.
As I lay very pregnant watching the horrific tragedy of 9.11 I worried again how I could bring a child into a world of such uncertainty. I worried about my future son going off to war or growing up to protect our freedoms in our country.
Then the day came. You were born at 11:29 am after they told me you would not be out until dinner time. As I held you in my arms, perfectly formed with no problems whatsoever, all my worries disappeared. For I knew I had met another love of my life!
After learning all was well, the first thing we noticed was your head of jet black hair. It was so different from your sister and dad. I knew then that you and I would be quite a pair! Then we noticed that same black hair on your ears and on your back and we nicknamed you "hairy back monkey".
For your first few years of life I worked full time as a teacher. I did not know you would be my last baby. Oh, if I would've know that then I would've stared more at your sleeping head, pinched those chubby (often rosy) cheeks, and kissed the back of your soft neck more often.
From the time I can remember you have loved to learn about things! At the age of one you were intrigued by guitars. Your uncle would give you guitar picks to play his guitar with. You have always loved airplanes and still love going to visit the aircraft carrier. It seems you have had military blood since the day you were born.
What a great brother you are to your sister. At times she treats you unkind and you do not act very princely to her, but I know you love eachother. I know that in your heart you consider her your very best friend and love her very much. I know that she loves you very much too. I know you will be close for the rest of your life!
You have such a way with people. Those who come in contact with you love you! You are funny! You are bright! You are very, very creative & you are kind to so many people! You make me feel loved just by smiling at me. I love that when we walk side by side you still put your hand in mine without even thinking about it. I love that you kiss me goodbye every single day! I know that one day soon you will stop doing that in pubic and my heart will break.
You have quite a future a head of you , Mr. Bottom! I don't know where you got Stanford stuck in your head, but I wish you all the luck in your dreams and goals. You've talked about going to space, becoming an inventor, becoming a mechanical engineer, and a fighter pilot. I know that you will be successful in all you do! You read Harry Potter this summer and your confidence soared! You can do whatever you want to do!
In just a couple of weeks you will make a life-long decision. Dad and I are so proud that you have not taken this decision lightly. We know you have prayed and pondered and have felt a confirmation from the Holy Ghost that you are making the right choice. I know you will continue to choose the right and you will be blessed for it.

D, I love you and am so grateful for you in my life! You are quite an 8 year old. I only wish I could stop time and keep you my little guy for a while longer. But how sellfish that would be. There are so many wonderful adventures that lie ahead of you. I can't wait to stand by and support you in all of them!
Happy Birthday & I love you!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things!

For the latest update on my other blog, click here!
Hopefully you hopped on there to check out my new commitment. With that, I have been changing a lot of things I is taking out high calorie items from my diet. I found this artichoke lemon pesto at COSTCO and use it for everything! Now mind you, if you glance at the nutrition label it may not look like the healthiest alternative...BUT I am replacing it for mayo and let me tell you IT TASTES SO MUCH BETTER! Plus I use one tablespoon, which works out to be much less than mayo.
I have used it for everything (besides pasta since I hate it) and have come up with some yummy ideas!

One of our fellow bloggers is living a dream of mine. She and her husband have purchased and are restoring an ancient provincial cottage in France! Check out the story here! Get this! They will NOT be living in it, they will be renting it out as a vacation home. (my birthday is coming up. hint-hint)


Thursday, September 17, 2009

I'm Proud to be an AMERICAN!

As with any trip we take I try to document it as many ways as possible, one being my blog. If you don't want a to read it I completely understand! But just be thankful that this is just a smidgen of the 1200 pictures we took!
Day 1- People thought that my family flew separately because we were flying on 9.11 but the truth was E and I flew with American Airlines points and D and hubby flew with Continental. This resulted in the girls arriving in DC at 2:00 am. Therefore our trip began on Saturday the 12th. The very first thing we saw as we got off the metro was 1 million people marching to the Capitol for the National Tea Party! What fun it was to see democracy in action no matter how you feel about healthcare!
After we rubbed elbows with all the rebels we headed to the Air & Space Museum. D has been dreaming about this place ever since he could walk so of course it was first. Afterall, this trip was to celebrate HIS 8th birthday. E and I were simply along for the ride!
After that we headed to the Museum of American History. Some of the highlights were Julia Child's kitchen (was it popular before Julie& Julia?), the inaugural gowns of first ladies, C3PO, a section of the Berlin wall and many items from each war. The kids really got into all the history!
We spent a lot of time taking the Metro, but soon learned that the train stations do not go past the Washington Memorial. So we walked and walked and walked. On this trek we visited the Washington Memorial, the WWII Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial. DO NOT make the same mistake I did and forget the Korean Memorial, which from pictures seems to be the most impressive of them all! (kicking myself big time!)

Seeing "Honest Abe" for the first time was a thrill for me! Almost as breathtaking as the Eiffel Tower!

Probably the biggest highlight of this entire trip for me was to see my uncle's name on the Vietnam wall. My uncle was my dad's brother, very close in age and also his best friend. Although I never met my uncle I felt close to his memory here because he is such a part of my dad .Remember this is still Day 1! By this time we were all getting a little grumpy, especially THE TWEEN! But we had to stop at the White House. D thought it was so cool to see the snipers on the roof! Little did we know this was the only time we would see the WH. We simply ran out of time!

Day 2- We had gone through our area Representative to arrange a couple of tours. They had scheduled us for a Library of Congress tour at 8:30 am. We all got up very early and headed there only to find out it is closed on Sundays! It did provide a nice picture opportunity as there is NOONE around that early on a Sunday morning!

After going back to the hotel room for a little bit more shut eye we decided to split up. The boys headed to The Museum of Natural History while E and I headed to the Portrait Gallery. This was fascinating to see all of the most famous American portraits in real life!

We met up with the boys at Arlington National Cemetery. We only had time to see the Kennedy graves and the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. What a spiritual place this is! I was disappointed that we did not have time to find my uncle's time!
We hiked along the highway, yes along the highway, to this famous statue! It was soooo worth it. I could not take my eyes off of it. E was not impressed...grumpiness had set in again. Time for bed!
Day 3- Time to get out of the city to see some VA suburbs. Ahhhh, I have been waiting to see the East and it did not disappoint! We took the metro and a city bus to Mount Vernon. It is possible! What a fabulous place it is! I gained so much respect for our first president after visiting his beloved home and place of death. Now he was a true hero!
Did I mention how awesome Mount Vernon is? Besides the historical property (the dining room is amazing) and the surrounding farm and gardens there is now an educational center which rivaled any of the Smithsonian museums we had seen. There are tons of artifacts like swords and clothes and his teeth (the ARE NOT wooden they are human and animal teeth!!!yuck!) but there are movies too. One movie is a reenactment of the Yorktown battle and your seat vibrates and it snows in the theater. For a second it felt like Disneyland!
After we left Mount Vernon we hopped off the metro in Alexandria. What a charming, quaint town it is! I could've brought home many souvenirs for my home but did not spend a cent! Definitely worth a visit if you can!
Day 4- the final day- I have to say I was a little stressed trying to fit everything in! We began by going back to the Library of Congress. We got into a tour, but you do not need a tour! Do it yourself, but definitely do it because the decor is unbelievable. It is the most elaborate building I have ever seen...and I have been to Versailles!

We then headed to our Capitol tour arranged through our rep. This was another highlight! It was amazing to see Congress debating over healthcare. Something I will never forget! I was completely taken back by the beauty of the Capitol building. I always thought that the White House was DC's crowning jewel but the Capitol really looks like a wedding cake top. Inside the rotunda is inspiring!

After the Capitol tour we quickly headed to the National Archives to see the original Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights. E was very impressed and bought her own set to take home.

We decided to split up again. The boys went to Ford's Theater where Lincoln was shot. They then headed to the Smithsonian Castle. .

E and I hopped on the metro and headed to Georgetown for some shopping. We never did find the University though

The last thing we did in DC was something I wanted to do at the very beginning...hop on a double decker bus and see the layout of the city! Whenever I go to a new city I like to do this to get acquainted with the neighborhoods. I was vetoed when we arrived and I finally got my way on the last night to do the moonlight tour. WOW! Seeing the sights at night, up top a double decker bus, in weather not even needing a sweatshirt WAS AMAZING!
I am not a history buff nor am I a politics lover...but I am American!
Every American should see our Nation's Capitol to learn about the past, witness the present and appreciate our future!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My new workspace

I got a laptop! I have never had one before. It is awesome!

I used to have my workspace in the bonus room but the kiddos were constantly fighting me for the computer!
Here is where I will mostly post for y'all.

~here is the story behing this desk~

~using photo frames ~

One of the things that I did a while back was restock this picture frame. I loved having sepia architectural photos in it, but I needed some daily reminders of what makes me happy. This is what I came up with!

  • Kiss Mark more often!

  • Personally pray fervently daily & on my knees!

  • Do some exercise every single day!

  • Eat less junk!

  • Read my scriptures for my own joy & guidance!

  • Record my thoughts
  • Wear colorful lipstick everyday!

  • Spend less time in front of ANY screen!

  • Be forgiving of others & myself!

Each of these were thought of very specifically about how I spend time, what boosts my self esteem, and how I need to improve myself. I love the daily reminders and they have helped me be a happier, healthier person...and all because of a photo frame! I also have a cute frame next to my bathroom mirror that holds the saying, "When we love ourselves, we can love others".

Try using a photo frame for your own encouragement.

Well, it is time for a little trip. Won't we lucky to be here amongst all the controversy?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Architectural Elements

Most of the doorways in our home are arches, but this one that passes from our kitchen to our family room is not. I have always envisioned the possibilities of jazzing up this area; intricate moulding, chunky columns, whatever will provide character. If I could fill my entire house with chippy architectural pieces I WOULD!

A friend and I went here today. I found some corbels that I thought would be perfect for this space. Check it out and tell me if you agree!

walk through~before

two faux corbels~ just wasn't crazy about the color

a light coat of cream spray paint, then rub some off with sand paper

family room ~ after

view to the kitchen

a little closer

I really love them. The best thing is I can take them down and put them somewhere else( like maybe under some kitchen cabinets) when I get bored of them there.
I saw this piece at the store and cannot get my mind off of it!!!