Thursday, May 31, 2012

Home Improvement- Lighting (so far)

(All of these lighting improvements were done last Summer.)
The Kitchen
Out with the old...
 Such a manly man!

 In with the new.
Can lighting and some pendant lights over the island.  This was before patch jobs and painting the ceiling.

 After- Patched and painted!
 This was a picture we took during one of our walk throughs before we bought the house.  But it's the best "before" picture we had of that lovely chandelier over the kitchen table. 
 Here's the AFTER lighting over the table area.  More can lights and a semi-flush mount fixture. 
 Old porch light
 Family room before
 After- more can lights

We love how BRIGHT all these improvements have made our home! :) 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Home Improvement- Entryway

Before- Lovely wood paneling... NOT.
Dan tore it down, and the drywall behind was in pretty bad shape.   
 We had a professional come and "float" some new drywall on top of the old stuff.  
 Here it is primed and ready for texture color.  (Doesn't our light fixture cast some pretty cool light patterns?  Yeah, I'm ready for it to be replaced next.)
 I know it's hard to see the texture and the color we chose, but isn't it just WAY better than the wood paneling?  Eventually, we'd like to replace the banister and railings as well. One step at a time, right?
More home improvement installments to come. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Haircut, Hip, and Happy Mother's Day!

So, I needed a change.  And thankfully, Dan happens to really like me with short hair.  :) So...
 This was me styling it the next day by myself: the real test if it's a good haircut or not.
Thanks to my friend Lea C. for a job well done!        

 In other news, Dan's been having hip pain for about 8 years now.  I guess that's old news.  ;)  He finally went to to get it looked at and found out that he has some excess bone that's been bumping into his cartilage.  Ouch!  The little nub that I circled in red on his right hip is the excess bone.  

Thankfully, the MRI showed no damage to his cartilage.  They'll just have to shave/smooth out the nub.  He'll be going in for surgery the Tuesday after Memorial Day.  He should be on crutches 4-6 weeks with physical therapy for 2-3 months after that.  Wish us luck!  

Mother's Day was wonderful this year.  It was a busy one.  We had a baby blessing and mission farewell to go to.  This was also McKenna's first Mother's Day being in Primary.  Since Dan is a primary teacher, he was able to take a picture of all the kids practicing the song Mother I Love You they would sing in Sacrament Meeting.  She knew ALL the words.  Just not always in the right order. :)    
McKenna also went to a primary activity earlier in the week where they made cards and necklaces for mom.  The necklace she made is right next to her card on the left in this picture.  It's her thumbprint in a mold with pink ink!  SO darling!  Dan also got my my favorite candy, flowers, and this awesome CD (Sandra is the older sister of one of my best friends growing up).  I highly recommend it!
I so much enjoy and love being a mother to my sweet McKenna and Ben.  It's the best job in the world!!  

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Blog Tag

One of the main reasons I keep a blog is so it will act as our family scrapbook.  However, I also very much enjoy reading other's blogs and catching up on their happenings and hope others enjoy doing the same with ours.  It's great to "keep in touch" through the blogging world.
Recently a dear friend of mine, Steph, blog tagged me. :)  It started a few friends back, and I'd like to continue it.  Therefore, I'll be tagging someone else at the end of my little interview.  Check it out!

1. if you were an animal, which would you be?
A monkey.  I think they look like they have a lot of fun hanging and swinging around.  They've always been my favorite animal to watch at the zoo.  

2. if you could have dinner with anyone who would it be? {i know this one is cliche, but i always love to hear people's answers to this!}
I would love to have dinner with Pres. Thomas S. Monson.  I'm pretty sure he could teach me some amazing things!  

3. what would you say is the flaw in yourself you would most like to correct?
Stop comparing myself to others and stop feeling the "mom guilt."

4. where do you see yourself this time next year?
Looking for a pre-school for my oldest child.  Hopefully a better looking yard.  Continuous wonderful motherhood adventures!  

5. fill in the blank: when i have an afternoon totally to myself, i like to ______
Blog (email and FB too: computer time in general), nap, clean.  

6. are you a chocolate or vanilla kind of person?
Mostly chocolate with nuts!  

7. would you {or have you} ever traveled solo? would you? why/why not?
First time I was on an airplane by myself was when I was 18 and leaving the nest to go to college.  I remember being scared to death.  I thought I wouldn't know how to make my connecting flight.  I'm much more of a "home body."  I don't think I'd really enjoy traveling solo.  Plus it's much more fun to travel and make memories WITH those you love.

8. tell me about the best date you ever had.
This past Valentine's Day with my hubby was pretty dang awesome!  We went to dinner at PF Chang's (gift card), and then went bowling. :)  It wasn't so much the dinner and activity that were so awesome, it was the fact that we hadn't been out on a date in a while, the conversation was fantastic, and we even got a little flirty and fun!  Definitely not our "usual" date nights of Del Taco and grocery shopping... with kids!  

9. which song has been running through your head lately?
Some Broadway show tunes, thanks to this awesome CD that Dan got me for Mother's Day.  

10. did you make any resolutions this year? how are they going?
I'm not much of a resolutions kinda gal.  I feel like there's always something in my life that will need improvement.  So, I generally make weekly and daily resolutions to "be better" in many areas of my life: exercising (I'm running a 10K in July), reading my scriptures more, having more regular Family Home Evening, being more patient with my children... I could go on and on.  But then there's that guilt thing that could pop up again.  Let's just say I'm always trying to "be better" than I was yesterday.  

Thanks for the tag, Steph! :)  Miss you!

Now it's my turn.  I tag my sister Emily and Katie S.  My questions are the same for you ladies.  If you feel like tagging someone else, you're welcome to keep the same questions or come with with new ones.  :)  Love ya!  

Friday, May 11, 2012

Zermatt Resort and Prom

Dan had a two-day work conference in Midway, Utah at the Zermatt Resort and Spa mid April.  I tagged along just like I did two years ago.  Last year Dan, and subsequently I, were not able to attend the conference due to his incredibly busy schedule of grad school.  This time, it was the first time we left Ben overnight (at 15 months).  A BIG thanks to Dan's mom for watching our little monkies!  They had a blast!  Dan's work payed for one night, but we payed for the second and made it a little Anniversary get-away.  May 3rd we celebrated 6 years of wedded bliss!  We went to dinner at a lovely steak house in Heber called Claim Jumper.  Dan was in the beginning stages of shaving off the beard, so please forgive his facial hair. However, he did fit in with the rural crowd up there :)
 The beautiful resort!  

Other Highlights:
  • Attending one of the classes at Dan's work symposium.  
  • Dinner with Dan's co-workers.
  • Taking naps anytime I wanted to. :)
  • Being able to sleep in AND work out
  • Having a few peaceful meals with NO kids 
  • A one hour, heavenly, massage!  Happy Anniversary to me!  
  • Watching a movie for free on cable TV in the hotel room
  • Catching up on blogging and emails
  • Catching up on some mending
 The day we got back, a young woman in our ward threw her second (awesome!) Spring Prom for the adults in the ward as part of one of her YW personal progress projects.  We had a FUN dinner group before where everyone brought an Asian style dish.  So yummy! 

I have a tendency to kind of let loose when I hear good dancing music.  What can I say?  I can't help myself.    Dan thought it was quite amusing to take pictures.  :)
  Sometimes all it takes is one person (myself in this instance) making a "fool" of themselves to help others put on their dancing shoes too! 
 There was even a cute backdrop for photos.  Dan had tried to jump and land in my arms.  Not so successful love, sorry.
 That's better.  
 They drew names for the Prom King and Queen, which happened to be our dear Bishop and his wife!
Such a fun weekend!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Savior of the World

I have to go WAY back for a moment.  Sorry, this post is a long one!  This story began during the Christmas season of 2005.  Dan and I were dating and he took me downtown to the Conference Center Theater to see Savior of the World.  I love ANYthing music theater, so I was super excited and Dan told me it's really hard to get tickets to.  At the end of the show, all I could say and think is, "How to do people get to be IN that?  I want to be in that someday!"

Well, fast forward 8-9 months.  We got married, were living in Bountiful, working in our respective jobs, and Dan heard on the radio about auditions for the Savior of the World play.  They were being held at the Bountiful Regional Center.  All we did was sign up online, show up at our assigned time slot, fill out a form, and sing a hymn.  The rest is history.  We were in the Savior of the World cast in 2006 and 2007.  I was in the chorus and got to be an angel in "heaven" observing these miraculous stories and events take place.  Dan got to play several roles: a temple priest, Roman soldier, a disciple, and in 2007, he was asked to play the part of the Savior!  He's tall, can grow a sweet beard, and is very humble.   Very well qualified, in my opinion.  We made some wonderful friends, and just LOVED being able to be a part of such an amazing production that can bring such an added measure of the Spirit to your life especially around Christmas.     

The following year, we had a baby McKenna with us, so we only got to watch the show instead of participating, but loved it just the same. 

Fast forward again to January of 2011.  I had just had Ben, but was still able to participate in a Stake Woman's Conference that was a reader's theater type program about the woman in the Savior's life.  The songs were all from Savior of the World.  Our Stake loved the program so much, they added a few of the Men's songs from the show, and turned it into a Stake Easter Fireside.  This then led to one of our Stake High Councilmen (who  happened to have been in the downtown production for 8 years!) asking our Stake leaders if our Stake could actually perform the play.  With great enthusiasm and support from the Stake Presidency, the ball was rolling and auditions were held in February of this year.  

Dan and I didn't think it was possible for BOTH of us to participate, and he usually lets me take part in all the stake choirs, so we decided I would audition.  (By "lets me," I mean, Dan doesn't have as much of a craving and longing to do musical things like I do.)  I felt so privileged and honored to be asked to play the part of Mary Magdalene.  

Two weeks or so into rehearsals, the director was still without anyone to play the part of the Savior.  Because of past conversations with the High Councilman who knew Dan had played the part before, the director called to ask if he'd be interested in playing the part once again.  Of course, Dan said yes.  (How do you say "no" to something like that?)  **The ONLY way Dan and I could do the play together was because my mom and brother were staying with us for 6 weeks!!  What a tender mercy!  :)   

Here are some pictures from one of our dress rehearsals.  I don't necessarily like for others to see these to boast about Dan or myself, but it was such a memorable experience for us, I wanted to share it. 
 Singing "Where is He This Morn?"

Mary telling Peter the resurrected Lord appeared to her.  
Singing with Mary, the mother of Jesus.  "Alleluia!"  

The disciples in the upper room.

The Savior later appears to Thomas.
The "Fishing" scene where Christ tells them to cast the net on the right side of the boat.  

The Finale: Come, Lord Jesus, come!

I absolutely loved having the pleasure and opportunity of playing the part of Mary Magdalene in the Orchard Stake's production of Savior of the World, Act 2: His Resurrection. I learned many things in the temporal sense. I learned quite a bit about acting and how to better project my singing voice. However, I also learned a great deal in a spiritual sense. It was so meaningful to put myself "in her shoes" and try to react as she would have. She was so confused and sorrowful in the beginning. But after the resurrected Lord appeared to her, she was so joyful and then became a strong witness of Him!
I loved making new friends in the stake. I loved the added measure of the spirit that was a part of my life during the rehearsals and performances. I very much looked forward to every rehearsal and performance, even though it was time away from my children. I knew being a part of this play would ultimately make me a better person if I let that power work within me.
I'm so thankful for our Stake leaders who were inspired to have our stake put this production on!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Symphony and Tulip Festival

Dan got a voucher for free Symphony tickets from a co-worker of his. (Thanks Liz R!)  So we chose to attend the Tribute to John Williams' music night.  It was so nice of Princess Leia to come! 
 The music was amazing, as you could probably guess.  There was music from Star Wars, Harry Potter, Jaws, Indiana Jones (my fave), Superman, and more Star Wars.  :)  There were even two Storm Troopers that came on stage during the Imperial March.   
 Oh, and some other fun characters showed up afterwards!
 A Rebel Fighter Pilot, Chewy, Indiana Jones, and Professor Snape.  

While Dan and I went on a little two night get-away (more on that later), Dan's mom was nice enough to watch our kiddos for us.  She was also nice and brave enough to take them to the Tulip Festival (with lots of other cousins). 

The girls 
 Da boys

 (I'm so shocked McKenna didn't run away from this guy.)
Thank you SOOOO much, Gwama Sibber, for spoiling McKenna and Ben!