Friday, January 27, 2012



The BIG 1.5.

Do you realize what this means?
She can get her learners permit...

Lock your children safely away.

Grace we love you and are so glad
you're in our home.

The above pictures say it ALL.
She is FUNNY and silly and
gorgeous and FUN and loves
to be a part of a crowd and is loud
and laughs and lives life to the 

All of her parent teacher conferences
start with, "Grace sure is a great student,
but she has a little trouble with talking....."

To which we nod knowingly and tell
her to "hush" for something like

She adds sparkle to the room
and lights up our family.

She is our one thousand watt child!

Make it a great 15 Miss Gray.
Love your family.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

everneath & cupcakes

This week (Tuesday night) my friend Brodi Ashton had her launch
party for her new book (first book) Everneath at the Kings English!
It was SOOO exciting to go and support her in this
adventure.  It was also SUPER fun to watch this whole process
from start to finish (a few YEARS!).  I was lucky enough
to be one of the first readers of her book, when it was nothing
more than a few computer pages printed and stuck in a black
notebook.  Honestly?  I knew it was gonna make it this far!
Take it from a nerd who loves to read--and watch out
Stephanie Meyer, because Brodi Ashton is in town now!

 Wednesday night our ward/neighborhood had ANOTHER "launch party"
in her honor.  I of course had to bake some "Everneath Red Velvet" cupcakes
in her (and the books honor!)  Way to go Brodi!  We are ALL
so proud of you and this accomplishment!  And read the book--it's
a good one!! (Sold out in Costco in ONE DAY!) 

And just because I was missing NYC so, I decided to come up with
my own Black and White cupcakes.  They were divine!

kitchen pictures ....

 Window redo...this will be where the sink will be moved to.
(The entire kitchen is moving to the old "dining room" side-
the new "eating area" will be in the "old kitchen" side.
Got it?
 Cabinet doors and hardware OFF--ready to take
doors to Ric to be painted.
 Ceiling mostly done.  Textured, lights in, and painted.
 A LOT of deglossing cabinet fronts, then sanding, then
priming, then sanding, then painting, then sanding, then painting.
Well, you get the picture.   FYI- Oil based paint REALLY stinks!
 Well used paint brush
 Priming, or painting--one of the two.
 Cabinet bases almost ready and done!
 Too many blues.  I won't tell you how many we tried before
we found the right color.  Let's just say the paint department
at Home Depot now knows us by "Kyle" & "Dorien".  ;)
 Lots of this used.
 I have this one twice (accidentally) reiterates the difficulty in
the choice making process of choosing a blue paint.
 SOOO many choices!  UGH!
 Final decision--Wood floor, blue paint, cabinet color.  
A very soothing combination.
We're making progress, slowly but surely.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

paradigm shift

I have so much to blog about (my kitchen)
and my camera won't upload pictures onto my for now let's say that things
are moving along slowly, but surely.

Flooring is purchased and will arrive Friday.

Wood.  We still can't decide (don't have the
money for) on the countertops we (I) love.

Darn you Sam & Brodi for making me fall in love
with your leathered black granite! (love! love!)

Until then a story from the "gym".

I tell Kyle everyday I LOVE the place where I work
out every morning.  I have met beautiful souls (albeit
older beautiful souls), but beautiful none the less.

They cheer me on, they speak with me about life,
the see me without make up every day and still
smile at me when I walk up the stairs to the track.

I have watched a couple there now for the past

He is always smiling, he is sweet, he is tender
with his wife.  Their interaction with one another
inspires me every day.  She runs and runs and runs 
and secretly has been my hero for the past year.  
They have a kind word for everyone and I have 
always wanted to ask the"secret" to their 
happy marriage. Each time she laps the track she
smiles at him, he gives her a thumbs up and she
blows him a kiss.  Every.single.time.  I gauged
their age at near 70.

Yesterday, while she ran, he was on the elliptical
next me to so I tapped him with my sweaty hand
on the shoulder and said, "Excuse me"...  I then
proceeded to ask him about his wife and marriage.

He replied (with his usual smile), "We are just
'precious', aren't we?  Everyone says so!"  He
was teasing me and then laughingly said..."Well
one of the secrets is that she has Alzheimer's."

He explained she was 69 (he was 72) and she had
been diagnosed 10 years earlier.  She loved to
run and it was a comfort to her ever failing mind.

As she lapped the track it was consoling for her
to meet his eyes and acknowledge his presence.

They come to the gym every morning.

As I watched them finish up, he tenderly untied
her sweaty bandana, tucked her IPOD away in the
gym bag and helped her on with her coat.

He held her hand and smiled good-bye to me as 
he led her down the stairs and made their way 

I saw this couple through completely new eyes.

It was a paradigm shift from what I THOUGHT I 
was seeing, to what I was ACTUALLY seeing.

Yes, they were still a loving and compassionate
and kind two-some.  Yes, you could tell theirs
had been, and still was, a great kind of love.

But as my view of them shifted through that 
one piece of information, I saw more deeply 
into WHO they were.  

A little sliver of reality, and truth,
and pain, and life, and living.

He still loved this woman very much (that much
is evident) but not only does he love her, he 
is her caregiver and guardian, the one who watches
over her everyday with care and tenderness.

It struck a chord with me about how much we really
never know about people (once again) and what
we are ALL really going through in our lives.

Daily struggles and burdens that are heavy on our
hearts.  Most of the time while we face the world
smiling.  It made me (once again) want to try
and love and know people for who they REALLY ARE
on the inside, underneath the smile.

Love them, hold their hands, buoy them up.  I have
a sincere place inside of my heart that genuinely
cares for others.  I don't always know how to reach
out and show this, I want to try and do better.

I am (once again) grateful for another lesson my 
(older) friends at the gym have taught me about life.

To (once again) look inside, look past what we 
THINK we may see to dig deeper to see what is
REALLY there!

Adding this to my short list of New Years Goals.

Well, that and the kitchen.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

pictures to follow

there is not much to show....

but we have:

* (most of) the ceiling painted and patched (one spot left
where remaining cupboards have to come out on the other side of kitchen).

*paint color picked out for cabinets "Roman Column"  somewhere
between bright and creamy white---more towards creamy. LOVE IT!
(anyone in Oly 3 can look at Sam & Brodi's kitchen, i copied their color!)

*debates rages over flooring (wood we think) and counter tops.
what i love, we cannot afford, unless we can find a remnant (which is
possible, we just have to hunt it down).  i always have that "wine taste
on a beer budget."  (darn it!)

*we haven't decided whether to keep the island same color
or paint black-or another color-we have time to decide.
& i'm not worried...yet!

*it's simply a mess in my house & everyone has been sick with coughs, colds
and other unmentionable things.  we are a living breathing cesspool of germs
at the moment.

*this has been super fun! far.

*A huge shout out to Rick Bruce who is trading Kyle labor for labor and
helping us paint the cabinets. (He owns his own wood shutter business and
is painting them for us, kyle in turn will help them with their basement
remodel.  WIN! WIN!)  & the cabinets will have a nice professional,
sprayed on finish that will last!  YAY!

pictures to follow.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012



 of marriage that is.

today is our anniversary.

i know some people are super mushy gushy lovey dovey (and good for you!)

i am not.  my husband even less so.

i was telling one of my "friends" at the gym today that we had made it to
21 years.

she said "that is a LONG time!"

it is.

21 years of joy and sadness.

heartache and happiness.

trial and fun.

times when we BOTH wanted to go another way and
times when we BOTH wanted to be here very much.

4 kids. jobs. no jobs. houses. remodeling. school. travels. friends. memories.
everything all wrapped up together, creating the life we have and know.
and (for the most part) love.

ups and downs.

if anyone tells you marriage is perfect and wonderful all the time...

i think they're lying.

but i'm glad i've had my friend kyle with me for this journey.

he listens and tries really hard and has put up with me longer
than anyone should have to.

he tells me "KITCHENS" are the anniversary gift for 21 years.

(and well, technically per the internet its "brass" or "nickel", who
needs more brass or nickle, right?)

i'll take the kitchen.  new or used.

it's a good thing that's what i'm getting, right?

happy anniversary kyle, thanks for sticking with me through IT ALL!

Monday, January 2, 2012

new year. new goals

if you know me, you know i don't love new years.
a buncha hype for a new day with a new number tacked on the end
of the year.


so i am setting the bar low.

really low.

for new years resolutions this year.

for me?

keep on keeping on, lacing up my shoes and sweating at the gym.

pluck my eyebrows at least twice.  in 2012, that is.

love and cherish the moments with the tall guy that lives in my basement.
his days are numbered in that spot--it's still killing me. still.  UGH!

smile more.

frown less.

get released from primary presidency.
(can't hurt to type that one out right?) LOL

finish the mess we started in the kitchen.

read a lot of good books (i prefer fiction)

take one "last fun trip" with all my kids together.
sure, kyle can come.  hopefully this will happen--
seniors, senior trips, college and all that jazz is
REALLY expensive.

on that note:  win utah lottery.

oh wait!  utah doth not have the lottery.
maybe drive to idaho and win THAT lottery.  :)

happy new year everyone.

remember MOST of what spews out of this mouth is
TONGUE in CHEEK, sarcastic and meant to be silly.

smile more! :)