Monday, December 31, 2012

The Year of the Liz-recap

Here we are...the last day of 2012. And it's not December 21st. I decided to be completely selfish this year and deem it "The Year of the Liz".

I have to say....IT WAS GREAT!

Perfect.....noooooo. In fact, there were several set-backs that we didn't see coming. There were some extremely tough moments, days, weeks, even months that were trial-ridden and unexpected. Problems that have developed in my life that I feel unequipped to handle at this stage of the game. But truly, I will look back at 2012 as a year to remember. In very fond ways.

Why you ask (well, by the looks of my sad comment board these days, no one is asking....hint hint).

1. I wasn't afraid to put myself first. After 12 years of birthing and nursing babies, it was time. Macy is a child who loves attention, and I do love to give it to her, but I've still found time to take care of me. As moms, we feel guilty being #1. And I definitely wasn't ALWAYS #1, but I allowed times to be that way.

2. I took a few chances. Decided that I couldn't let "busy" be my excuse for not trying something new. I will always be busy because that is just who I am. D.C., Nutcracker, New York (all things done on short notice) fit into this category.

3. Looking back at my post last year, I vowed to cure my back. Well, I fell short on that goal, but I did a few things to further the progress. It has been as good as it's been in years (except the last 2 weeks...I  blame Christmas). There will be more progress in 2013 on my back, and I will not be discouraged. I will keep searching.

4. I felt no guilt spending money on pedicures and a monthly massage. I work hard and enjoy the pampering. Plus, it's so nice to have a little light in my day when work and kids have worn me down. I love my studio, but it does wear me out (in a good way).

5. I truly took time to notice my kids. I've noticed nuances and cool things about each kid and really learned to appreciate them more. Maybe it's because I'm turning 40 in 10 months, but I'm a little "mid-life crisis-y" right now. I've really learned how short the time is that I have with them. They are wonderful. But, that being said, could they seriously go back to school?

6. I was careful with who I gave my time with socially. There are people that are just toxic. People that live to hurt you or belittle you because of your opinions or your trials. There are people that just suck you dry. I've tried to not become offended when someone makes comments about my son or my political beliefs. I'm safe in the knowledge that I'm a good person doing good things. I'm happy that I have gained that confidence with age.

I really am happy with my life. I'm a lucky gal and have the best husband, kids, and job ever. I'm trying really hard to not let the trials in my life define me. I'm in a good place.

2013....the Year of Everyone Else. Service. That is what I want to my kids to remember this year. I feel restored and ready to go. I'll write more on this later, but I truly think I had to take care of me first to be able to serve anyone else. You can't give anything if you don't have anything to give. (so, so deep)  =-)

Happy New Year. There's good stuff ahead!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Scenes of December....(part 1)

Welcome to December....the craziest month of all in our house.
Always nice to be met by this cute lady.
 Emi and friend Kate as the Chinese dancers.

 Chillin' with my 1860's posse. Hoop skirts are now my new fashion statement. 

 Opening night. Macy loved when the Nutcracker broke, and then Superman (Drosselmeyer) put it back together. Anything with a cape is Superman.

 Downtown. The candy windows are back!

 It was a perfect snowy night downtown. So fun!

Our elf's name was "Pepper Candy-lips". He got around. Here he is smooching an angel.

 Macy performed in her first little dance program. She was adorable! She is in the black, red, and white.

 Quinn with his woman!

 Kindergartners put on a great show. The side shows are the best part.

 My Nutcracker children (cast b). We were the military couple. 

 It's so wonderful when snow shows up on a SATURDAY!

Pepper Candy-lips was a little artistic one night.

You have to be creative to have a December 18th anniversary. The only 15 minutes we had together was his lunch break where we took 2 kids to Harmons. We live big. We do always celebrate in January or February.

Anyways....that was the first part. I'll post more in a few days. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The BIG kitchen/familyroom/living room REVEAL

I'm so happy to say that the remodel (with the exception of a new table) is DONE! The majority has been done since September, but the little touches keep coming in. It was quite the ordeal, but I was so lucky to have a couple friends who had just gone through it. I used their amazing contractors and had super results. I'm lucky to have a husband and father-in-law who were willing to try anything, as long as they could learn how to do it on "YouTube". you go


(I can't even describe the hatred I had for my old cabinets. They now live in our garage....mocking me)

(many of these are taken in different seasons, hence the different decor)

(cords still hanging out of TV for this pic)

Valences aren't up in the this pic....
but they are here!

  The living room is in super squishy mode right now with the tree, but you get the idea.

So...PHEW! LOVE the results and all the great people who made it possible.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I can't tell you how disturbed I have been the last 2 days. I refuse to turn on the TV because I can't bear the news coverage of Connecticut. I had just left the cutest Kindergarten Christmas program for Quinn and got into my car. As I turned on the radio, it was devastating to hear the tragic news. Kindergarteners!  I could hardly talk. I can't even go there in my head to think what devastation this is to the families of the victim. I was no good accomplishing anything all day.

To be honest, I still can't bring myself to read any of the details or the names. It's like I don't want to know it's really true. Why do we live in a world like this? For about half the day, I was truly horrified at the world we live in, and I'm not that kind of person. Later that day, as I shuffled kids to and fro, I heard Celine Dion sing "O Holy Night" and later a version of "Silent Night". There was finally a quiet peace that reminded me of our Savior. As horrible as this all is, especially this time of year, there is a peace in Christ. One of my favorite quotes is "Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of Christ". Later, this pic came up on Facebook

It helped. 

I can't imagine any of us recovering from this anytime soon. But I will say, the last few Christmases, I've been a bit Scroogey. I shook things up a bit this year by performing in the Nutcracker (a story for another day) and that has helped make it fun, but this event changed it, too. This weekend I've been all about stopping my crazy-long to-do list and being with my kids. I snuggled and watched all our DVR'd Christmas specials, I played in the snow with them, I let them stay up late, we had sugar cookies for breakfast, etc. It has made me stop and appreciate the glory that is little kids. I love my sweeties dearly. They are everything to me. I was more patient (mostly). I hope I can always cherish them the way I want to. I hope it makes me focus on the right things this year. 

Merry Christmas. 

p.s. Are any of you feeling extreme anxiety about sending your kids off to school tomorrow. I am.

Friday, November 30, 2012

1st Annual 10 Favorite Things

I'm sure you are already looking forward to the 2nd annual....

I'm not a crafty gal, but I do love to shop and know super places to find cute things. I'm not the good girl who always has a deal or a coupon, but I  love finding unique gifts to give. (Having said that, I just bought iTunes cards in bulk for our cousin exchange...not very creative).

#1- Strolling through Hip and Humble, I came across these. I bought myself one so that Bill and I won't mix up our contact cases. About $5.95.

#2 Yuuuummm! After I drop my kids off at school, I pass a Starbucks. When I'm feeling weak, I will stop for their super hot chocolate. Pricey, but good. So, strolled into Costco and saw this! Yum. It's mixed with milk and it tastes just like it!

#3- It tasted even better if you have one of these! A cheap Ikea frother. It's like $2.00 or something like that. My kids love it. 

#4- Also from Hip and Humble is this cute kids quote book. I have half-heartedly have kept a notebook with my kids funny quotes, but not too cute. This is way funner to write them down. Macy is so very quotable right now, so it's perfect. $14 or so. Great gift for moms and grandmas.

#5-Last year, I found this spray at Thistle here in Draper. It's yummy smelling on your counters. There are several scents, but I like pomegranate the best. They can't keep it in stock there, but I've ordered it online for the same price. $14.95 I believe, but a little goes a long way.

#6- Some little girl in our house is in love with piggies. This was on clearance at Pier One. I sure hope Santa sees this. 

#7- My stockings I got last year from Red Envelope. My only regret is that our initials don't spell some great Christmas word. 

#8-We've always had Han Solo on our tree (thanks Stacey), but we now have a talking Darth Vader. It's pretty funny. It must be if I allow it to grace my Santa tree.

#9-My awesome short boots. I love these because I feel like I really have to commit to an outfit to wear long boots. These, I can throw on with anything. I love them.

#10-Pirate-O's: I'm so lucky to have this place close. I love the great samples of appetizers, but mostly I really love the cute, unique candies. I'm pretty sure Santa shops here to get stocking stuff.

Anyways...happy shopping! What are your favorite things right now?

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I've wanted to write this post for about 3 weeks, but just couldn't bring myself to do it. My poor kitty died after a long and generally happy 13 years with us. I had no idea how much this was going to affect me, but it really has torn me up inside. 

Fosse was a great cat. He was so sprite and silly as a kitten. We got him right after we moved into our house. We had no furniture, and we would entertain ourselves for hours with a laser pointer on our bare walls. This cat could leap. 
Sadly, the years went by and he got older and more tired. About 5 years ago, we had to remove several of his teeth and then proceeded to spend a fortune on smelly wet cat food. He about lost his life when (as a kitten) clawed up Bill's favorite leather chair. That's when he got his nickname, Fuzzbutt. Fosse had several traumatic car rides and pulled tails. He was also strange in the fact that he would only drink from a bowl of water in my bathtub. 

 But mostly he survived the arrival of 4 kids. Fosse definitely had his nose pulled out of joint each time another one appeared. He always looked up at us and sighed like "really...another one?"
He tolerated the kids, but never really accepted them. He knew he was our first baby, and was not willing to spend a lot of time on them. Macy was kind of the exception. He had given up all pride by then. 

But, me and Fosse....we were tight. He cuddled up to me every night. He would spend most the day in my room, and waltz out every night as the kids went to bed. He'd nuzzle his head on mine on the couch. I've always been a cat person, and I really just feel that a cat is a calming presence in a home. Heaven knows my house needs a calming presence. He was very comforting to me, especially after a long day and always when Bill is gone so often. I need that. We were close. I still expect to see him every time I go in my room. It's hard.

So, the last few weeks of his life, he was throwing up all food he ate and really lethargic. For about 2 1/2 days, he was curled up in my closet and didn't move much. I would bring food to him, but to no avail. On Monday, I just laid down with him for awhile. It was strange. I knew he was in pain, and his eyes were dilated so big (a sign of the end) and I feel like we both just came to peace with what was going to happen. It was a sweet moment. I'm glad we had that time. Bill took him in to the vet that night ( I could not do it), and he had several major issues that would've been too much to fix. He just was so old, we couldn't do it. Fosse had an excellent life. 

(right before he died)
 The kids took it hard and it was a rough night. If you ever lose a pet, there is a great book called "Cat Heaven". It made me feel better too, though I still cry reading it. Bill even took it hard. 

As much hassle as pets can be (I can't say I miss the fur everywhere), they are such a presence in your home. I feel like Fosse was such a huge part of our home and daily life. It is so weird without him. I miss him so much. 

I know...I sound very "Crazy Cat Lady", but oh well.