Wednesday, June 30

Something like 3 Miles

We got up early and ran to the farm
to pick apricots.

Running through the rows of trees made me feel like a little kid.

And it was fun to be part of the 
semi-elite club 
of people who know 
what the streets look like 
before the sun has finished lighting them up.

But a huge part of me was wishing the boat was fixed and we were being part of the 
early morning lake club instead.


Did you know you could make your own stamps?
I didn't.
I mean, I guess if I really thought about it...
of course you can.
But it certainly never occurred to me that would be possible.

Kind of like the time I went to my friend's house and found out you could make bread.
(I thought it just came from the store.)
(I was 10.)

Anyway...check out the rad DIY stamp tutorials I found on How about orange.
And then come over and make some with me.

Pretty please and thank you.

Tuesday, June 29

Someone who knows something: Daniel on Preventative Car Maintenance Part 1

Preventative Car Maintenance: A Nuisance Today Saving you Hundreds Tomorrow
By Daniel Adams

 I hold the illustrious title of “oil change technician” at Grease Monkey in St. George, Utah. If you asked the costumer who berated me yesterday, he would say I don’t know the first thing about cars. In a way he is right. I can’t tell you where the carburetor is, or how to fix it--but I can google that. That costumer is mostly wrong, however, because I do know how to keep your car running smooth for a long time. You don’t need to know how to take apart an engine to maintain your car properly.

This will be a two part series.  Today: How to maintain your car in your own driveway. Next week: Free advice and Common oil lube misconceptions.

Maintain your car

    Oil: Automobile engines create little explosions using air, gasoline, and little sparks. These explosions propel multiple metal parts at high speeds and therefore your car needs oil so nothing rubs together.
1.    Open your owner’s manual and find out what weight of oil your car needs. (many cars now have this printed on the cap under the hood labeled “oil”) It could be 10w-30 if you have an older vehicle, 5w-20 or 5w-30 for newer cars, or some other numbers which are either almost obsolete (10w-40), for trucks (15w-40), or for high performance vehicles (5w-40 in your Mercedes).
2.    Your manual will also tell you how many quarts to put into the engine.  Go over to Oreilly, or Autozone, or Napa and buy the amount of oil you need. CONVENTIONAL OILS ARE BASICALLY THE SAME, so you can buy whichever is 3$ per quart. DO NOT put in too much oil. Do not under fill.
3.    There is a basin lowest to the ground just in front of the axle with a bolt in it. Get some cardboard on the ground and a bin you can catch 3-7 quarts of oil in and loosen that bolt and pull it out. (you can probably find pictures on Google). You can let the oil drain for about 10-15 minutes. PUT THE PLUG/BOLT BACK IN when it’s drained.
4.    You also need an oil filter. It makes sense to change it every time because if you don’t, the new oil accumulates all the gunk from last times oil, and your change was pointless. Oil filters are under the car hanging off the engine--usually. (Chevy Cobalts have an oil filter canister under the hood for example) Again Google is probably your best friend on this one. They will have pictures.) The auto parts store has a special 4$ wrench if your last oil lube center cranked your filter on with a jackhammer last time.
5.    When you get the oil filter off, make sure the rubber ring around it (the gasket) doesn’t stick to the engine. (it will make your car leak oil if there are two rubber rings--one from the old filter along with the one from the new). You can hand tighten the new oil filter, it screws on clockwise as you face the filter.
6.    Check the oil dip stick under the hood by pulling it out once and wiping it off, then re-dip and make sure the oil level is in the thatch/full indicator. (If you have a Nissan, the stick is hard to read, dip a couple of times and trust the oil quantity in your owners manual if you can’t tell.)

: This magic product keeps your engine -34  degrees in the summer to fight off fire and stuff, and keeps your engine fluids from freezing solid in the winter. Make sure it doesn’t touch your face, it will make you sad on the inside and the outside.
    Coolant can be green or pink. Pink means you have a newer car with expensive extended life coolant. Green means you have an olderish car with normal coolant. Both are great. There is a reservoir full of coolant under the hood. If you look closely, most have the words “full cold”, “add”, or some other variation. Fill your coolant to the “full cold” level. (Some cars have a dipstick inside the cap on the top because there is nothing written on the coolant bottle. look on the internet if you have questions.) If you are frequently low on coolant, take your car to a lube place and have them check your radiator cap. If the cap doesn’t hold pressure, your car will lose coolant. You can buy coolant (pink or green) at an auto parts store. Make sure you notice if the product is a straight concentrate requiring you to add water, or a ready-made coolant.

    Power Steering Fluid:  Every car has a nob/lid close to the side of the engine under the hood labeled “power steering”. This enables your car to turn when you want it to, as quickly as you want it to. For GMC’s, the power steering lid will have a dip stick attached. Twist counter clockwise and pull. Most other vehicles have “cold full”, “cold add”, “hot full”, and/or “hot add” printed on the bottle. If the car is running it’s hot. If it isn’t running, it’s cold. You won’t need to add very much fluid. DO NOT OVERFILL power steering fluid!!!! This will cause difficulty in turning your steering wheel.

    Washer Fluid
: Most states require you to have working washer fluid and sprayers to pass safety inspection. Most cars have some kind of blue reservoir, or a bottle with a sprayer insignia on the cap. Some caps are yellow, some are clear. Open up, and pour away. It doesn’t matter if you overfill this one. Just fill until it’s full.

    Brake Fluid: On the driver side under the hood, closest to where you sit, there is a tiny little reservoir of brake fluid. If the fluid is full, your brakes will squeeze and your car will stop. If you are lacking fluid, take your car into a shop and have your brakes checked, and the fluid filled. They have certified people who can assess potential bigger problems.

    Air Filter: These exist to make sure there is clean air mixing with gas to cause efficient explosions inside your engine. Your owners manual should tell you how often to change your air filter. If you drive in a dusty place, or a muddy place, or drive 110 mph on the freeway all the time, you can expect your air filter to be more dirty. Most filters are held in by clips. Honda’s have bolts. The air filters are usually on either side of the engine, by the fenders.

    Cabin Air Filter: If your car is older than 2001ish, skip this. Car manufactures decided to put a filter underneath the glovebox for the A/C and heating on most Japanese cars, and Oldsmobiles. 2000-2002 Suburbans have them about at the front passengers knees. Look on the internet to see how to unhook your glove box without breaking it, and if there is a cover roughly 2-4 inches high and 6-12 inches long, unclip it and uncover the hidden dusty treasure that you’ve been breathing for the last 25,000 miles.

    Transmission fluid
: When you drive, different size gears lock together to send you barreling along at 20, 30, 40, 50 etc mph. These gears need fluid to run smoothly. In automatic cars (no clutch) look for a red dip stick under the hood. If you have a Nissan or Toyota a lot of them are black and round and you might need a screwdriver to pop it up. On Trucks or Suburbans the trans stick is usually on the passenger side close to the cab. Check the transmission fluid while the car is running by pulling out the dip stick and reading the bottom. Wipe and dip again to make sure you are accurate. If it is in the “hot” range or thatched range you are good. DON”T OVERFILL YOUR TRANSMISSION if it’s low. Start with small amounts. Dodges need to be running, but geared in Neutral. Honda’s are checked when the car is off. If you can’t find your transmission stick, it could be a dealer check, where-in you have to take your car to the dealership. Transmission fluid should be cherry ICE-E/slurpy red, unless it’s a toyota, then it is grape slushy purple.
    If you have a manual transmission you will need to get under your car after you google where the check plug/bolt is, and you can take a sample down there.
    Again, your owners manual will tell you at what mileage you should flush your transmission. If you drive your car hard, or put the car in reverse or drive before completely stopping, you will need to change your fluid sooner. If you don’t change your fluid eventually your gears will strip and you’ll have to pay WAY more than $109.98 for a new transmission. If you have an SUV or truck you probably have a transmission filter, which can be switched out. You might need a lube shop for that.

    Tire Rotations: When you turn, it wears down the front tires. It is therefore necessary to move the back tires to the front and vise versa. Some people like to cross in an X, some people like to keep the driver and passenger tires on the same side. Many cars recommend rotating tires every 5,000 miles. You could probably go 10,000. It depends how cheap your tires are and how fast you corner. Look at the tread on the front tires on the edges closest to you, if they are rounding off, you should rotate your tires.

    Differentials and Transfer Case
: SUV’s, Trucks, and Subaru’s have differentials because they are or can be all-wheel drive, instead of two-wheel drive. Inside the differential box there is fluid to make it run smooth, and either every 30,000 or 45,000 miles, (look at your manual) it is prudent to replace this fluid. If your car asks for synthetic fluid, it will be 60ish dollars per box, so budget.

That’s a lot of stuff, I know. Once you do it a couple of times, it will go quickly. You will find that all this stuff costs about $38.00 at Checker Auto Parts so maybe $34.99 at the oil change place isn’t so bad after all.

Be sure to come back next week for part 2!


I just got back from a Twilight party.
I'm so tired.

But good news...
I have a FABULOUS edition of
"someone who knows something"
coming up soon.

It'll just be a bit later than usual.
Whenever I manage to get out of bed.

Monday, June 28

3 miles - ish

Due to Zumba, parties, sickness and (probably mostly) laziness,
we haven't run in a week.

I think the exact words were...

"We should do this more often so it doesn't suck so bad."

P.S. Running friends, what are your favorite brands, styles and types of running clothes?
My body has changed a lot since I was last a "serious" runner and none of my clothes are working

Favorite Foods

How old do you think Carter will be
when he figures out that
an avocado
is not
a happy meal?

I'm not telling.

I love watching 
him down the whole thing 
in about 2 minutes 
and then beg for 
the "ball."

Also, please don't tell him 
that the other kids have sugar and color and stuff
in their popsicles.  

He is very content with his ice on a stick!

Friday, June 25


I love, love, love 
this window art.

It was done by Tiffany from Mine are Spectacular!
(But I found it on Better After.)
I would love to make one too.
I even know where I'd put it.

But where do people find all these cool, old windows?
It's not something I see laying around very often.
Or ever.

Thursday, June 24


When he is making the mess
and I'm getting something done
it always seems easier just to let him finish.

And then I have to clean it up.....

On a sorta similar note, I am really curious what everyone thinks about this article.

It's called
Five Reasons to Stop Saying "Good Job!"
By Alfie Kohn

Read it over
(or skim it over)

and if you have any thoughts, feel free to share.

Please and thank you.

P.S. If you're really feeling like reading, this post on stay at home moms is yummy.
P.P.S. Sorry for all the homework in the summertime.

Wednesday, June 23

Someone who knows something: Kristen on how to paint furniture

hi, guys! i'm kristen from "kfd designs." i specialize in decorative painting, working with everything from walls to furniture. i've recently been asked LOTS of questions about painting furniture, so when jen asked me to do a guest post for her, i knew that'd be the perfect thing to share some of my "knowledge" on!


when i buy a piece of furniture, i don't generally worry about the surface that i am dealing with, because you can rough almost anything up enough to make it accept paint! depending on how slick the surface is, i will use a different grit sandpaper to make my surface rough and ready to accept primer. if the surface is very slick, i use a lower grit sandpaper, if it is no- so-slick, i just do a light sanding. i have a black and decker mouse sander that i use almost daily!


after sanding, it's great to use a primer. i really like kilz latex primer for most of my priming jobs, because not only does it have excellent coverage, but it also provides a really gritty surface for the top coats to adhere to. i just apply it with a chip brush, or any brush i have sitting around - applying primer requires no skill, you just slap it on!


after my primer coat has dried (i usually let it dry 24 hours), i am ready to do the base-coat. i prefer using a semi-gloss or gloss paint, and i don't really have a brand loyalty! if i have a choice, i usually buy valspar brand from lowe's, but i'm not very picky. valspar, to me, is the best consistency for paint (even compared to "nicer" brands like benjamin moore and sherwin williams) - not too thick, and not too thin. plus, the price is right at about $20/gallon. another helpful hint: if you are painting a small item, sometimes you can get away with buying one of their "sample" size paint jars instead of a whole quart of paint!

maybe i do have brand loyalty? heh...

next: actually painting your furniture! i really, really, really LOVE purdy brushes. they're expensive, but trust me - they're worth it. i think the big differences in seeing something that is "professionally" painted versus something that is done "DIY" are brush strokes and roller lines. purdy brushes have thin bristles and are arranged in a way that helps you apply the paint easier, which, in turn, creates fewer brush strokes and easier application. my favorite purdy brush is my "cub" brush:

i've probably bought about 8 of these brushes since i began. they're the best!

also, i like to use a foam furniture roller, which looks like this:

they make furniture rollers in different lengths - you can buy one that is the right size for your project. the foam rollers create a flat surface that is perfect for the application of paint onto a flat furniture plane. i start out my furniture-painting projects just like a wall-painting project - i do the "cut in" lines with my purdy cub brush (the areas at the corners, edges and hard to reach areas), then roll paint onto the flat surfaces with my furniture roller. the key to not having "roller lines" is to just apply your paint smoothly, and evenly and most importantly: DO NOT BARE DOWN WITH YOUR ROLLER. if you bare down too hard, it creates those little paint lines from the ends, which results in a bumpy paint-job! you always want to follow the grain of the wood when you are painting furniture (even if it's faux wood). i usually do about 3 coats of paint for even coverage.

after your base-coat is dry (again, wait about 24 hours), you can do the topcoat of polyurethane. i like minwax's water-based latex "satin" finish poly.

i prefer satin over gloss (because it is easier to apply), but sometimes i do use a gloss to achieve a shinier look. i apply the polyurethane in the same way that i apply the paint (using my purdy brush and a foam roller), but you always have to go back and double-check for drips when you are painting with poly! it's easy to forget to be careful (since it's clear!) when you are painting polyurethane on, but it's very thin and has a tendency to drip. just go back when you are finished to make sure it's not drippy! i do 2 coats of polyurethane as well.

all in all, i tell clients that the longer you wait, the better "cured" your furniture is going to be. when you are applying this much paint, you are going to have to wait a little while for it to fully dry. handle your furniture carefully for about a week, and then continue to be gentle with it for about a month after you paint it!


i hope my tutorial was helpful - i know there are a million questions that are probably unanswered, but thankfully there are lots of youtube and online tutorials that are quite handy for furniture painting, so if i didn't answer something, hopefully you will be able to find it there. and of course, i think the more experience you get, the better things will go, so don't be scared to grab a paint brush and just start! you will learn as you go, and it's always a fun process! good luck!

Tuesday, June 22

Stay Tuned...

  for "someone who knows something" tomorrow.

I was excited when Kristen from k.f.d. designs agreed to be our guest expert.
So excited, that I bruised my leg on the side of my bed rushing to tell Li.

Her work is so amazing that I dream about it at night.

This is one of her desks that was featured on design*sponge.
Check out her blog for more.
And be sure to check back tomorrow for her expert post!

Sleeping Out

We've been sleeping here a lot lately.
'Cause it's summertiiiime!

(And we still don't manage to get our bed made.)
I'm excited for the day we can make a room like one of these...

Monday, June 21

First timer

And you thought 
was traumatized by my birthday....

8 Miles

We almost didn't make it out of bed.
(We haven't run in a week.)
In the end, 
we're glad we did...

It was a beautiful morning,

we were happy,

and our life makes sense again.

I will; however, be purchasing a new sports bra this week.

Friday, June 18


Aren't you just so happy that it's summertime?

I am.

That's my answer to EVERYTHING right now.

Should we eat junk food for dinner?
Sure, cause it's summertiiiiime!

Come home from work right now and play?
Yup, cause it's summertiiiiime!

Have a happy summer weekend.

Thursday, June 17

28 by 28

Okay, here they are...
(in no particular order)

1. Learn a new piano song
2. Go to the great salt lake (the lake, not the city)
3. Bake an apple pie
4. Write to my friends in Brasil
5. Make a felt bag
6. Go to IKEA
7. Read the Doctrine and Covenants and the student manual
8. Make my own swimsuit
9. Reupholster our banana chair
10. Fix up a bike
11. Organize my recipes
12. Be a guest speaker
13. Read a book a month
14. Find a home for all our clothes
15. Make an article of clothing without a pattern
16. Run the St. George Marathon
17. Learn a new guitar song
18. Get a kill on COD4 without camping
19. Initiate a conversation in spanish
20. Memorize the Relief Society theme
21. Organize all my papers in a pretty filing cabinet
22. Make a chalkboard
23. Ride in a hot air balloon
24. Go to the temple 24 times
25. Make my bed pretty
26. Paint on a canvas
27. top secret
28. also top secret

(Advice, suggestions, lessons and tips are appreciated!)

Wednesday, June 16

Here's another excuse...

to buy Brown Sugar Cinnamon Ritz crackers.

The recipe on the back of the box.

(Well actually I'm going to give you the recipe, 
so you don't have to buy them to get the recipe, 
but you will want to buy them to eat with the recipe.)

Soften 8 ounces of cream cheese.
Spread it in the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan.
(Or similar container.)

Chop up an apple.
Mix it with 2 tablespoons of seedless raspberry jam.

 (Note: if you are really lazy 
you can go ahead and mix with the measuring spoon, 
then there are less dishes to wash.)

Spread the apple mixture over the cream cheese.
Sprinkle 1/3 cup granola over the top.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Eat with the crackers!

I really liked it.
I think I might mix some sugar in with the cream cheese next time.
Or maybe put some honey on top.

This picture has nothing to do with this post.
I was uploading pictures down the line
and this one was next.

And he's so cute,

I couldn't help myself.

Tuesday, June 15

Someone who knows something: Laurel on Parenting

Today's "someone" is Laurel.  Not only is she the mother of a 2 ½ year old and 6 month old twins, but she also recently graduated from law school.  She is SMART, NICE and oh so down to earth.  I'm sure everyone can learn from her helpful tips, even if you don't have kids...

As a mother of three children under age three I have a new appreciation for mediocrity. I’m not exactly a type A personality, but I do like to feel like I’m somewhat in control and that things are in a certain order. I’m learning that my standards need to be a little lower for awhile, but that’s okay. I’ve also learned a few tricks that have helped even a perfectionist like me enjoy this time in my life. They’re included below in bullet point format because that’s how I roll.

•    Accept help. If you’re like me you’re used to being the person to give help and having to be the receiver is new and uncomfortable. It’s okay. Just think about the times when you’ve served others and how much you’ve enjoyed it and take advantage of any offer that comes your way. It won’t be like this forever and you will have opportunities to serve again. Ask for the help that you need and just think of all of the blessings in store for those around you!
•    Make lists. You’ll forget stuff, I promise, but it’s easier to feel prepared if you write stuff down as you think of it. I hate remembering something I really, really need when I’m on my way home from the store so I make lists for everything from groceries to gift ideas for family members to books I would like to read. I hereby give you permission to add things to the list that you’ve already done so that you can check them off right away.
•    Plan Ahead. I can’t think of anything more stressful right now than trying to take my 2 ½ year old and 6 month old twins to a store when I have a deadline. Just thinking about it makes me want to cry. So every few days I try to think about what we’ll need and write it down on yes, you’ve guessed it, a list. I don’t know how everyone else nests when they’re nearing the end of pregnancy, but nesting for me included starting my Christmas shopping in July and purchasing a lot of canned goods and toilet paper. Now that the babies are here and I’m trying to fit one car seat in the front of the shopping cart, one in the back, and a toddler playing hide and seek in the produce department it’s nice to just have to buy milk and fresh fruit. Planning ahead is not just limited to shopping either. I try to have a diaper bag ready to go and always have extra diapers and a change of clothes in the car.
•    Prioritize. There will not be enough time for everything you need to do so decide what is most important right now and do it first. One thing that’s really important to me is writing down what my 2 ½ year old says because I can almost guarantee that I won’t remember what she says at this time in her life.
•    Recharge yourself. It’s hard to be useful to your family if you’re emotionally empty. Take a little time to do what makes you happy. Remember, if momma ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy.

Good luck and remember that this time won’t last forever, make the most of the good and do your best to survive the bad!

And a couple of practical tips:
•    Find a grocery store that isn’t as busy or go early in the morning or late at night. I would prefer spending 5 more minutes in a car than 10 more minutes waiting in line with my kids. My husband and I also split up kids when we run errands – this way they each get a little alone time with mom or dad and we aren’t overwhelmed by running errands with all our children.
•    Drive around until you can park near a shopping cart.
•    Put diapers that are a size too big on your children at night, they hold a little more and should help them sleep longer.
•    If you’re out and about dressing rooms are a great place to breastfeed babies. They’re private, clean, and they don’t smell like bathrooms. If you’re formula feeding those plastic containers that hold premeasured formula are great, and don’t forget to take an extra water bottle.
•    Always take a few more diapers and wipes than you think you’ll need.
•    Don’t forget snacks, for you and the kids.
•    Do anything that makes tasks more manageable. For me this means running smaller loads in the washing machine and dishwasher. I know this is not very energy efficient but I promise I make up for it in other ways and it will not be like this forever. Consider buying groceries from places that deliver (in Utah we have Winder Dairy) or that will gather everything and have it ready for you when you get to the store (I believe Costco and Sam’s Club will do this and Albertson’s used to).
•    Buy diapers and wipes in bulk.
•    Do as much shopping as possible online.

Monday, June 14

4 Miles

A quick 4 mile run tonight....
I told Li we should start thinking about our 8 miler. 
(Meaning what course we want to run.)  
 His response?  

We should sleep.

Anyone want to drive us around for 8 miles while we sleep?
(This is not us.  This is a man on a bus in Hawaii.)

Tortilla Soup

I'm a Cafe Rio salad girl.

Who isn't?

It made me really happy to see my baby devouring his veggies dipped in their house dressing. 
Start 'em early!  

But I have recently fallen in love with their soup as well.  
Have you tried it?  
It's awesome.  
My aunt Jill gave me a tortilla soup recipe that is pretty dang close, and I daresay, maybe even a little better.  

(Jill is probably my number 2 source for good recipes, second only to google.  If it's a Jill recipe, chances are you're gonna like it.)  

Without further ado...

Tortilla Soup
1 T olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves
1 jalepeno, seeded and finely chopped
2 t chili powder
1 t dried oregano
1 t cumin
4 C chicken broth
1 1/4 lb. plum tomatoes, diced
1 can green chilis
2 C frozen corn
2 C shredded chicken
1/3 C fresh cilantro, chopped (or less, a little goes a long way!)

1 ripe avocado or guacamole
lime wedges
tortilla chips
(These say optional and I suppose they are, but not really.  If you have everything you need to make this soup without going to the store except for avocado, lime and tortilla chips, then go ahead and skip them.  But if you are going to the store anyway, splurge on the extras.  Don't come tell me you didn't like this soup if you made it without the avocado and lime!)

Heat the oil over medium heat
Add onion, garlic and jalepeno and cook for 5 minutes
Add spices and cook for 1 more minute

Add broth, tomatoes, chilis, corn and some salt
Boil and then immediately simmer for 20 minutes

Add chicken and simmer 10 more minutes

Add cilantro.  (Don't forget this step!  I was 1/2 through my bowl and I couldn't figure out why it didn't taste as good as usual.  I'd forgotten the cilantro.)

Add extras


Note: This meal requires a lot of chopping.  Please be careful or you might wind up like I did.
I nearly had to get stiches.

I'm such a good cook.

P.S. I'm trying to find the Brian Regan clip about if you are going to the store anyway...but I can't find it anywhere.  I'll keep searching.

Okay, Li found an animated version here.

Friday, June 11

An interview with me

Jen: How come you've been asking so many questions on your blog lately?
Jen: Well, I'm not sure.  I guess I've just been needing more help than usual.

Jen: Don't you think that's a little unfair, asking all those questions and not giving your readers a chance to ask any back?
Jen: My readers are encouraged to ask all the questions their little hearts desire on my formspring page.

Jen: Why'd you get a formspring account anyway?
Jen: I always want to ask people questions on their blogs and there isn't a super easy way for them to answer.  I got a formspring account because I wish everyone had one.

Jen: Why are you interviewing yourself?  Isn't this post a little cheesy?
Jen: It's super cheesy.  But I had the idea for this post while I was laying in bed the other night, and usually if I have an idea for a post, I do it.

Jen: What are you eating right now?  Can I have some?
Jen: White chocolate macadamia nut cookie dough.  Sure.

Thursday, June 10


I decided that I'm going to go for it.
28 by 28 I mean.

I do seem to have plenty of free time on my hands.
I might as well try to focus some of it.

Right now; however, my list of goals is reading like a to-do list of unfinished projects.

Any suggestions of something a little more meaningful?
I need about 10 more!!

p.s. My pictures are all cute and in a line until I publish them and then it goes all crazy.  That's annoying.

Wednesday, June 9

muchas gracias, muy tarde

Before Squishy was born a lot of people gave me things.
Historically I am not very good at thank you notes.
I confess I never even sent them out after my wedding.
Shame on me.

While I was sitting around waiting for my baby to show up I wrote thank you notes.
And I was really, really proud of myself.

And then I had a baby.

And now I present to you exhibit A....

The aforementioned thank you cards.

My little fatty turns 1 next weekend.
And so I turn to you all for advice....

Should I still send the thank yous or is it way too late?

Tuesday, June 8

someone who knows something

I have reached a new level in my efforts to help 
 perfect mediocrity 
 around the world.

Today I introduce you to
"someone who knows something."

From here on out I'll be bringing in guest authors...

who know something.

So enjoy today's excellent post on Becoming More Peaceful from Kylie, a beautiful photographer and peacebuilder living in Hawaii.

But beware: tomorrow you might be our expert.

We all feel mediocre at least some of the time
But we all have something to share!

It's back!!

My birthday that is.

This was me on my last birthday. 
I think I was too caught up in having a baby to realize that I turned a year older.
Somehow or another 26 never registered in my mind.

As a result I am having a REALLY hard time owning up to 27.
Plus everyone keeps calling me "almost thirty."

I don't like that.

I know it's just a number.

But still.

It's A MUCH higher number than I feel.

This is a depressing post.
I'm sorry.

I'm going scuba diving in a swimming pool tonight.
That's happy.

I'm happy too.
But also old.

Someone who knows something: Kylie on Becoming More Peaceful

****Post edit****
Kylie wrote this post based on things she learned at an Arbinger workshop.
Click here if you are interested in attending a workshop yourself.

Whatever you "do" on the surface, people respond to who you are "being" when you are doing it.

When I see the truth, I feel care and compassion. Feeling care and compassion, I have recovered my sense of what others need. I see things I can do. Things I should do. Things I desire to do.

Cry for another's pain. Realize a wrong and apologize. Suffer a wrong and don't require apology. I no longer exaggerate their faults and my virtue. They are no longer objects of blame. I am ceasing to blame others because it is the right thing to do for them--not because of what I want them to do for me.

I understand that others carry burdens I do not see--including burdens I have placed on them by my own prior self-betrayals.

Seeing now with compassion, my view of others changes whether they change or not.

"Herein lies my freedom: The world I encounter springs from my own soul. Herein lies my fate: Which world will spring from me?"

The power to choose is within me. I choose every minute, every day. Therein lies my hope.

-guest post by kylie, from

Monday, June 7

smart goals

I recently read a post called "21 before 21" at The Feminist Housewife.  

Tomorrow I turn 27.  
(I think that's right, I was born in 83.  That's right, right?)
21 before 21 won't work for me.
28 by 28 seems ambitious.

And the only goal I've thought of so far is...
make my own swimming suit.

Hmmm....maybe I'll go with 1 by 30.

Saturday, June 5

6 Miles

My sister drove us out 6 miles south of town.  
After admiring the snake on the side of the road, I started my run.  
I soon noticed Li wasn't keeping up with me 
and turned around to find him.....

he was catching a ride on the hood of the car, waving at me like it was a parade, and swinging his legs like a giddy, little boy.

Friday, June 4

polka dots, checks and stripes...yikes

One day my husband told me that 
if I'd wash and dry all the laundry 
he'd fold it and put it away.

Then he realized it was the worst deal he'd ever made in his life.

Does the laundry get done at your house?


Thursday, June 3

How NOT to buy a cool frame

For a pretty long while I've been wanting a cool, flowy looking frame.

I finally found one.
You may recall this little number.

I had no intentions of keeping the candlestick part.  
In fact, my plan was to pop it off at the wooden part.

Shhh...don't tell anyone...
the silly thing is solid plastic!!

Here are some photos of what followed...

(This was around midnight.  We tried a saw, heating an exacto knife, and finally burned a hole in it.)

(Then, our friend with the sweet workshop lent us "the perfect saw for the job."  The problem was if you went too fast, it just melted back together.)

(Back to burning holes in it.)

And finally...


Wednesday, June 2

Float, float, float...

I had a sad night last week.  
(I have them sometimes.)
I told Li all I wanted to do was
"cry, cry, cry, cry, cry..... float, float, float."

And then I started laughing my head off and it was over.

If you don't get the joke you probably haven't seen this video.

Tuesday, June 1

I'm memorizing...


“We are beloved spirit daughters of God, and our lives have 
meaning, purpose, and direction. 
As a worldwide sisterhood, we are united in our devotion to Jesus Christ, our Savior and Exemplar. 
We are women of faith, virtue, vision, and charity who:

Increase our testimonies of Jesus Christ through prayer and scripture study.

Seek spiritual strength by following the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

Dedicate ourselves to strengthening marriages, families, and homes.

Find nobility in motherhood and joy in womanhood.

Delight in service and good works.

Love life and learning.

Stand for truth and righteousness.

Sustain the priesthood as the authority of God on earth.
Rejoice in the blessings of the temple, understand our divine destiny, and strive for exaltation.”

Isn't it fabulous?