Friday, September 23, 2016

Where We Are Now

In honor of it being a lovely day (80 degrees, dry, and beautiful!) I thought I'd charge my good camera and take a few pictures around the house. During the past several months since we've moved to out quaint little farmhouse, there has been plenty going on. This isn't a dramatic before and after, but I will show you a few befores...from our first walk through with our realtor as well as a few before we moved in, as we worked like crazy to do as much as we could while it was still empty. As crazy as one can work whilst keeping track of five children and two puppies.

To the right of the tree is the street. I'm crouched down in a magnolia tree to get this shot. Never thought I'd be crouched down in a magnolia tree doing anything but life is full of surprises. 
The right side of the house. This is the direction from which all cars approach. Where guests exit their cars and then proceed to knock on all four doors trying to find one that will be answered. Spoiler: none. We don't have a doorbell and can't hear your feeble knocking. The concrete pad and sidewalk are new and help immensely in directing folks where to try first. 

Standing on the concrete looking our over our driveway. I mean "driveway". Someday it will be a picturesque winding country drive with tire tracks in the grass. For now...mud. 

Speaking of is our back yard. It was leveled and reseeded when we moved in so we wait patiently for things to turn green one day. Our shed/dog run/lean-to is visible here. 

Entering the house. Here is our front door. No one actually comes through here so I haven't felt a huge push to get it decorated. But it does need attention. 


Pivot to the left and see our pretty pretty staircase. My original paint job lacked a certain "precision" so the painters tape is me midway through my tidy up the slapdash job project. 

Here is the family room. We FINALLY got couches in here after two months without them. The funny thing is that no one sits on them now. They've already developed their habitual perches and so this is easily the least used room in the house. 

Turning directly around points you to the dining room or the most used room in the house. Not comfy or welcoming but adjacent to the kitchen where you can always find mom slash snacks. I'm not sure which is the bigger draw. Okay okay, yes, I do. 

And here's that adjacent kitchen. Ain't she purty? 
And then...the snacks. There was no pantry in this kitchen up until about a week ago, so this addition is quite the treat. It's not actually crooked I'm just actually not a good photographer. 

Moving upstairs to the landing and hallway. The kids' rooms are up here.
Can you see the invisible line that divides the clean sister's side from the messy?

The boys haven't yet decided who gets to be the clean one. I'm sure they're working on it, but it's a big decision and they're real busy, know how it is.

The dogs. Ugh. My banes. They're so adorable but so big and muddy and naughty. If I didn't have a little girl who would be deh-vuh-sta-ted if they disappeared in the middle of the night...

Not sure who took this picture of me (in our old rental house) but it would seem I'm not happy about it. Probably because I don't have my eyebrows on yet. That really ticks me off.

So there we are. We're constantly in a state of fixing, changing, adding new things. It's fun but it's been wearing for sure. I really appreciate order and cleanliness (children! irony!) so to live without it for so long has been a struggle. There is very little storage and we have very many things so the piles of stuff pushed in corners and pushed to the side and pushed up in the attic are just...getting old. But it's also so satisfying to be able to make real and noticeable improvements to your environment and be able to appreciate that you didn't have them before and isn't it great that you do now?

Sunday, March 6, 2016

This and That

In the past few months we've....

Had a girls'n'mom trip to Asheville, NC wherein I turned over the selfie reins to my far more capable 12-year-old daughter's hands,
had the best meal of my life at Tupelo Honey Cafe (Ava loved hers, too!),

and all in all got along most of the time. Success!
Thomas took home the coveted "Best Icing" award at the Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet.
We got some frozen custard at Freddy's

And gave it six thumbs up. 

Went on a cool hike through Conestee Park and ate cheese,

poked things with sticks, 

proved our manliness in trees, 

and poked things with sticks. 

Oh wait, I already said that.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

What to Do If You Find Yourself at the Columbia, SC Temple with Time to Spare

I can't. I can't do it. I can't get back on facebook. I have tried. I probably will try again. But not now. I need some space and time to get my blood pressure back down to normal. I just spent the morning googling privacy tips because if there's one thing I'm passionate about it's privacy. Not healthy eating or dog breeding or something normal. In the few years I've been gone, things have gotten even more out of control--my control--on facebook. In a bad way. The way I see it, everyone will know everything about me all the time and in a few weeks time I'll be obsessively checking it every spare moment and stressing over the passive aggressive and downright idiotic and polarizing and self-centered comments from normally nice sort-of-friends.

On the other hand, I did get on instagram awhile ago, but haven't ever posted any pictures and am only following my sisters. I remember to check it about once a month but I don't like to comment because then people will see it. People I don't know or possibly sorta know. I realize it's weird that that thought absolutely freaks me out. I realize these "people" neither know nor care who I am, what I'm saying, or where I am, but that doesn't calm the emotional tizzy I would work myself into by potentially drawing unwanted attention to myself. As an aside, I remember a boy I dated in college giving me the nickname "the queen of discretion", meaning I didn't like to reveal too much about myself. (Wasn't fully intended as a compliment, ahem.) He made it sound a lot cooler than it is. Discretion can be taken too far, methinks. Meknows.


Funny stories about the kids! Family updates! Pictures!

A couple weeks ago I got to go to the temple in Columbia with some friends. Hinckley, who had gone with Darron a week or two before and had regaled me with tales of catching teeny tiny frogs on the grounds, came to me with this before I left.

It's a map. Of where to find frogs. For my own amusement and pleasure. Perhaps if I arrived a bit early with time to kill before I went in? Or maybe when I came out and had the overwhelming urge to forage in the bushes for thumbnail-sized amphibious souvenirs? Map was also accompanied by a very detailed explanation of which colors and sizes were to be found in each location. He was quite mystified when I got home and had to confess that I didn't find any. "Wait," (eyes narrowing) "You didn't even look, did you?" he accused. My excuse that it was dark and I was in heels. Not that the map wasn't particularly helpful and clear or that I am really only interested in his frog-hunting excursions, not in conducting my own personal ones. 

Here's a picture of our house, I thought you might like to see. We do like it. It's up on a hill, it's white, and it's pretty cute. 

Hinckley and the gang. At his last meet he beat his previous time by over two minutes. We were so super proud of him. I also just love watching Darron run around during Hinckley's race, trying to reach different points on the track so he can holler and cheer for his son. It does my heart good. Only the fastest siblings can keep up with Dad, and Delilah and I are usually a few seconds too late. 

I am teaching the kids their piano lessons, with results being inconclusive at this time. It was Darron's idea, since we are trying to save money for a house and all. I told him I would try and I am. No has yelled or stormed off during the middle of a lesson. We are all proud of ourselves. The attitudes of the children have been far better than I had anticipated. My teaching strategy "fake smile lots and pretend these are not your children so you don't get snappy" is working for the time being. 

I got called to serve in Cub Scouts with Thomas. I'm trying to set up an effective program with a small number of boys (4 wolves, 1 bear, 1 webelos, 1 11-yr-old) and only two leaders. It's tricky and is causing me stress, but I'm surprised at how much I like being with the boys. Like most people, Cub Scouts was on my short list of the things, I *fingers crossed* hoped I was never asked to do. Well, the list just got shorter, because I like it. Darron got called into the High Priests group leadership and he likes it because he's weird. 

We are happy and really doing well. It is my goal to reach out to my old friends in Utah and other places from other times in my life because, well, I like you and want to still be a part of your lives, so please know I am taking baby steps in that direction. 


The Queen of Discretion

P.S. You should know that when I filled out those career surveys in high school, my top three occupations were: long-haul trucker, sheep herder, and forest ranger (I'm assuming the kind that lives alone in a cabin and cares for trails and trees and animals, not humans. I'm assuming.) Do you think there's a pattern?