Thursday, December 27, 2012

How is it December 27th?

We rushed and rushed and rushed and rushed.  Rushed to finish shopping for the girls without spending a ton of money, rushed to sew and build personal gifts for parents, rushed to clean, rushed to cook, blah, blah, blah.  Now what?  Kevin is back to work and I am sitting here on the sofa blogging.  Wait, this might not be so bad!  I guess the point is that we spent so much time building up to Christmas and now it's over!  That's life, right?  It just seems a little bit silly that the day went by so quickly.

The girls woke up extra early.  Actually, that's not completely true because Charly thinks she is an infant and didn't sleep at all the night of Christmas Eve.  Seriously, she was awake, in and out of our room, ALL night!  It was miserable, but nothing new.  My parents came over to watch the girls open their gifts, I prepped the turkey, we laid Charly down for a nap, and the countdown was on to get to my sister's house by 11.  The turkey actually took a little bit longer than I expected, so we made it there by 11:30 and we were the first ones there!  The girls opened MORE presents, we had a delicious prime-rib lunch (my fab turkey was not the star this time), and then Kevin started stressing me out...he had to be at work by 6:15 to work a 12 1/2 hour shift, so he definitely needed to sleep at some point.  Luckily, we were done with all the festivities by about 2, so I took Kevin home, packed the girls' bags, went back to pick them up from my sister's house, and we hit the road to visit my grandparents.  They live about 1.5 hours away so it's not a terrible trek, but driving by myself wasn't what I wanted to be doing on Christmas.  Oh well! It's done now.  We had a good visit, the girls and I were totally spoiled for the 3rd time, and we came back home yesterday afternoon.

Whew!  What a whirlwind of a week!  11 more days before I have to go back to work.  I have all of these great plans of things I want to do over the next week.  Honestly, at this point, I have no serious intention of doing anything at all.  I am still trying to be okay with that.   For now, my only plan is to keep the girls quiet enough for Kevin to sleep well during the day, and I want to blog.  A whole lot.  I love doing it, but it's one of those things that I just don't keep up with well enough!  BUT since Santa totally spoiled me and brought me a new MacBook Pro, I am slightly more motivated :)

Here are the things I intend to blog about over the next few days:

  • An update on our kitchen remodel
  • Happy Homeaversary
  • Our doggies, Penelope and Sloan
  • New Year's resolutions
  • Goals for 2013

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What My Body Craves..

What do you absolutely crave?  I used to crave Pepsi.  Gross to think of that now, but it is true.  I am not talking the occasional crushed ice, Styrofoam cup loveliness that I still indulge in every once in a while--I am talking about stocking my fridge full of this stuff.  One day, Kevin and I decided that maybe we should not consume so much sugar so we switched to DIET soda (or pop for you Utah and Idaho residents.)  We thought we were super healthy for that switch.  This went on for years.  I can't even begin to imagine the amount of money we spent on the stuff every week!  Water was definitely the backup option in my house.

I've talked about this on Facebook before, but I'll elaborate here...because you'll think it's interesting...or not...whatever!  Okay, so we go to Idaho once or twice a year to visit Kevin's family and our friends and we usually stay for about two weeks at a time.  We always drive because we like to have our own car there, I would never put myself on an airplane with my crazy children, and, frankly, because it would cost a fortune to buy airline tickets for 5 people!  Secretly, I love the drive, though.  Sure, the girls drive me crazy by asking the typical, "Are we there yet?" questions and by having to pee every 45 minutes, but it is really the only time out of the whole year that we get to spend together with no interruptions.  No projects, no TV, no cooking, no working out--just the 5 of us.  The girls pretty much do their own thing the whole drive so Kevin and I get to spend a lot of time chatting.  If you know Kevin and I, you know that we don't talk much during the week.  This isn't intentional, but we are both so busy at work all day, with the girls in the afternoon, then with projects, dinner, gym time, etc. in the evening.  We are absolutely not the type of couple that sits down together and watches a TV series or chats over a glass of wine in the evening...some days this would be wonderful, but it just isn't how we function!  I'm getting sidetracked.  SO:

When we drive and chat, we typically discuss our goals.  That's all we talk about, actually.  Kevin's main goals are ALWAYS to do something amazing for a career (like woodworking, handyman-ing, etc.) and to work out and get in great shape (he already is, by the way.)  My goal is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS to eat better and to be a better example for my girls.  Not that I want them to be crazy organic lovers (which wouldn't be horrible) or anything, but I want them to learn from me and make good choices.  I don't want them to crave Pepsi or french fries or anything else that is so addictive and horrible for them.  Those are our goals.  And for 6.5 years of driving to Idaho for 13+ hours, each way, I have talked about making these changes for myself and my family.  As I returned home, I would do well for a few days, then FAIL miserably.  Like seriously.

I'm a pretty petite gal, so I was never really into looking to lose weight, and I have been an avid gym goer for about 5 years.  That being said, the nutrition was definitely where I struggled.  Because I drank Pepsi and we ate out ALL THE TIME.  Oh, and I would sometimes go the entire day without eating, then be ravaging in the evening when Kevin got home from work.  SO frustrating!  The funny thing is, I was never really frustrated at the time.  I didn't know that I was doing such damage to my little body because I just didn't know any better.  Until one day...

Last June, I had a procedure done that left me with a little bit bigger than a quarter sized wound that wouldn't heal.  Two times, my doctor re closed the wound, he tried countless topical treatments, organic supplements, etc.  Nothing worked.  We came to the conclusion that, for some reason, my skin and tissue just didn't want to cooperate as quickly as it should and I would have to remain on antibiotics, and in pain, until it was ready to close on its own.  It's a good thing I have 1000% (yes, one thousand) faith in my surgeon and I knew that it was MY body's fault, and not his, that I wasn't healing properly.  This nonsense went on from June until November.  That's right.  No swimming all summer.  Boo!

I had also developed a serious sleeping issue, probably because of the pain I was experiencing all the time.  I tried herbal teas, I tried Melatonin, I tried just getting over it.  Nothing.  I was exhausted ALL the time because I wouldn't fall asleep until 3 or 4 in the morning.  This was just as annoying to Kevin as it was to me.  I would toss and turn, then finally turn to him around 2AM and say something snarky like, "Ugh, it must be nice to be able to sleep at night!!!!!"  Haha, kind of funny now, but it was annoying at the time.  Okay, so finally I went to the PA at my doctor's office and she prescribed me Ambien to try to solve my problem.  Did it work?  Yes!  It made me sleep like a baby.  No more annoying Kevin with my middle of the night remarks, no more watching TV all night, surfing Facebook until all hours, etc.  I was finally sleeping.  BUT...I felt like HELL the next day.  Every single morning, I was groggy, cloudy, not alert.  Gross.  It was great to be able to just fall asleep without trouble, but I got to a point where I felt better without sleep than I did WITH the Ambien-induced coma!  In short, I was a wounded, tired girl.  <--this is a huge problem for me considering my husband, children, job, and household responsibilities.  I needed something.

Facebook had just started to become a little bit concentrated with people talking about nutritional cleansing.  I was absolutely not interested, which is weird for me because I'll buy anything I see a commercial for (skincare, blenders, workout programs, etc.)  My daughter's preschool teacher and a few other friends had mentioned that they were doing it and gave me the info.  Months passed.  I did nothing.  If I am being completely honest, I just tried it because I wanted people to stop talking to me about something I was clearly not interested in.  Plus, I was not going to give my SSN to them and be charged every month for something I'd hate.  HA!  So, I signed up for a ONE time charge and got my 9 day cleanse delivered to me a few days later.  What did I do with it?  Yep, I put it in my pantry and it sat in its box for all of September and all of October.  All this time I was suffering!  Sleep deprived, taking this crazy little pill, and NOT healing!!!

One day Kevin said, "You spent all that money on that cleanse, why don't you do it?  You think you could stick with it?"  Oh, Kevin, are you challenging me?  Of COURSE I can stick with it...I just don't want to do it because I want my soda and I want my Starbucks!  That same week, I was invited to an info session at some random girl's house (who later became a great friend.)  I went in with a pretty crappy attitude because I thought these people were nuts, but her house was decorated beautifully and she was wearing Tory Burch flats so my outlook on the whole situation changed really quickly.  I know, I am that petty.  So, there we sat.  Chatting.  For an hour or so.  These were CUTE girls who didn't need to lose weight, but simply used these products to maintain their amazingly healthy lifestyles, which I envied so much because, of course, THAT is always my goal.  Remember, from the car?  Anyway, the next day, November 11, 2011, I started my first 9 day cleanse.  The rest is downhill and I became one of the crazy Facebook people talking about this amazing product because I couldn't help but share with everyone I knew.

I was HOOKED.  I slept like a freaking rock every single night, without Ambien, and I woke up feeling incredibly rested and ready for the day.  Alert, clear-headed, energized, like I just had the best workout and I was ready to take on the day!  This was HUGE for me!!!  BUT, the absolute best thing about the entire experience is that my dreadful wound, that Kevin and I had both been nursing for 5 months, was completely healed after the 4th day (I am not allowed to claim that cleansing healed me, even though I think it did.)  I am a drama queen, that is true, but this stuff was no joke!  After that, I was super pumped up about the fact that I could wear normal clothes again and I could be comfortable and HEALED...FINALLY!!!  Aside from the most obvious reasons for my new obsession, I lost 4 pounds (which is good for me) and I felt better than I ever have in my whole life. I never really knew what it was like to feel great because I was doing so much wrong to my body before this!  I would have NEVER believed that what I feeding myself was making me unable to sleep and heal.  Being a drama queen again:  I get teary and emotional just talking about it.  Seriously.  It was the best thing I've ever done for myself because it has made me feel so amazing, comfortable in my skin, patient with my girls and students, nicer to my husband, and above all else, I now have the exact answer to how I can help myself be the best I can possibly be at all things.  I am a firm believer in the idea that it is impossible to be a good wife, mom, friend, teacher, etc. until you are good to yourself. My husband loves me more when I love myself and I am able to do so much more for others when I am, first, taken care of.  If you believe that putting others first is best, then that's great, but HOW much better do you think you could service them if you're running at 100% efficiency first?  Exactly!

Obviously, I have shared this great product with my family and friends and so many of them continue to use it.  Kevin and I are such firm believers and we never go a day without our amazing nutrition!  We are a much better family for what we have discovered and continue to consume every single day.  Oh, and we NEVER buy soda!  EVER!  Okay, maybe as a treat if we eat somewhere amazing or have a big family gathering, but never as a grocery store staple.  Longest blog post ever.  Sorry!  I have been wanting to go into detail about how Kevin and I have benefited from this for so long but I haven't done it.  So, here ya go! My story :)  The whole purpose behind this post was to chat about why I was feeling so crummy on vacation, but I feel better now so maybe it's not even worth it!  Plus, it feels good to get this emotional stuff out.  Is it weird that it's an emotional topic?  Probably so.  I'm okay with that. Have a great day, everyone! :)

Oh, and to answer the question I asked at the beginning, I crave water and chocolate shakes and sweating at the gym!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Raindrops on Roses...

So when I bought my little Mia, I was using the Juice Beauty skin care line.  I saw an infomercial for it and liked that it was pretty organic, or so I thought, so I bought the little trial kit.  It was okay.  I didn't love it.  Immediately, I knew I was in the market for something new!  For the past several months, probably since around Christmas, I have been using the most amazing lotion, body wash, and lip gloss from Philosophy.  And when I say amazing, I mean amazing!!!


This lotion is the best best best thing ever!  It smells so fresh and light, yet it is so incredible for thirsty skin!  The only thing I don't love about it is the pump; it's okay, but could definitely be improved.  Nothing enough to turn me away, though!  After I bought the lotion, I decided I needed the shower gel.  

I am slightly obsessed with anything coconut, so I needed to buy this!  I just happened to totally luck out the other day at Sephora, while buying some lotion for my sister's birthday, and they were on SALE!!!  Naturally, I stocked up :)  

Okay, so on to my first point.  I was looking for something a little bit better for my face and I am such a label kind of girl (not in the sense that I won't use or wear something unless it's a certain brand, but more like: I like the way that looks super classic and simple, so I'll definitely buy it) so I started researching Philosophy face products.  After reading review after review, I decided to take the plunge and buy a couple of things.  I was hesitant because this stuff is not cheap.  And, obviously, I tend to go a little bit crazy about something if I really like it, so I wanted to be sure before I bought anything.  

After a few days and chatting with friends who use Philosophy (because it really is THAT big of a deal...and if you don't believe me, then try it and see what you thing), I decided to go ahead and buy a cleanser and moisturizer.  


I mean, seriously, how could I turn down a package this wonderful?  I didn't.  I bought it and I love it!  I cannot think of anything that would work better with my little Mia and nothing has ever made my face feel so so so wonderful!  Until after I dried it and applied this moisturizer:


Hello fabulousness!!!  ABSOLUTELY IN LOVE!  The only thing I don't love about this product is the scent.  It is a bit harsh.  But only a bit and I have become accustomed to it.  WORTH the investment.  I have been using the cleanser and moisturizer for two weeks+ and I haven't even made a dent in either of them.  Thank goodness!  

Okay, I feel like I have to just finish talking about my skin care regimen now that I have started because I only have one, no two, other things to add.  But I'll stick to the skin part and wait to tell you about my magically growing lashes another day.  Because it is boring :)  Okay, the final thing that I LOVE for my face is from IsaDermix (Isagenix).


HOW AMAZING IS THIS STUFF?!  I use this Intensive Microderm with Natural Sea Mineral Crystals once a week and I just love it!  I don't use it with my Mia because I think my face would fall off, but when I massage it gently on my skin and then rinse it off, I feel like a new woman!  My absolute favorite at-home pampering product!!!

Okay, so that's my routine!  Seems complicated but it's really not.  I am a young one still...only 26...for a few more weeks...but I feel like I need to take really good care of my skin because I am out in the sun a lot and I don't want to have wrinkles yet :)  Oh, and I do not work for Philosophy (though that would be amazing)!  I have just found something that I really love and wanted to document it in case the world ends and some little alien fairy comes across my blog and needs some skin care advice.  No, that's weird...I'm going to go do my face now since my sweet husband is working night shift this week and I am a little bit bored :)  Have a great night everyone!

Remember When Oprah Had Her "Favorite Things" Episodes at Christmas?

Remember those?  It was always my favorite day of the entire year to watch her show and always a dream to be in the audience on those days...too little too late, I guess at this point!  Oh well!  I have recently been in to mood to try new things and I want to share them!  If you follow me on Facebook, you've probably seen my many polls about products and my asking for feedback about whether things are really worth the money or not.  I usually don't post things like that unless I am seriously considering them because all it takes is for one person to tell me something positive and I'm ALL over it!  I am super easy like that :)  So, these are by no means in order of importance and I am absolutely sure I'll have some people thinking that I am "vain" or whatever because I am talking about THINGS but whatever.  I like things and I like to buy stuff and I like to pamper myself!  TRY IT!  IT'S AMAZING!!!  Okay, so here's my latest obsession!



This is the Clarisonic Mia.  There is a newer model, the Mia 2, but for the price difference, I didn't think two speeds would make that big of a difference!  I had been eyeing these little things every single time I was at Sephora or Ulta but I never really knew if it would be worth the money or not.  My neighbor, Michelle, bought one and raved about it so of course I had to give it a try!  The next day, because I am super implusive, I rushed down to Ulta and bought one of my own.  I got the tealish one pictured above...

Let me just say...OH MY!!!  I have used a Sonicare toothbrush for YEARS and I feel like my teeth are so mistreated if I go a day without it.  Well, this is the same concept!!!  This little bugger removes dirt, makeup, grime, germs, nastiness from the gym, whatever.  I asked my Esthetician what she thought and she had never tried it but cautioned me about over-exfoliating.  So far (it's been about 3 weeks) I have used my Mia both morning and night with absolutely no problems at all.  My skin feels wonderful!!!  I hope to never have to be without my little Mia.  I love her so :)  If I was Oprah Winfrey, I would definitely give one of these little cute girls to everyone I know.  

To this point, I have only used it on my face, but you can buy several different heads for it and they're targeted for different purposes.  How amazing would it be to exfoliate your arms and legs like once a week?!  I would love that so much!!! 

Enough of that!  I should move on, for sure.  TRY THIS THING! 

The Great Kitchen Remodel

This post is going to be long, and tedious, and annoying, and definitely broken into parts.  I will try my very best to make it easy on the eyes and ears, though!  So, we moved into our "big" house in January of 2010.  From day one, I hated the kitchen.  Now, this is a broad statement, I know, but I am SUPER picky and creative and I like to have things a certain way...and I am married to a man who definitely understands that and wants to do anything in his power to make me happy.  Or maybe just to keep my mouth shut.  Either way.  Whatever. Okay, so the most annoying thing about this house, in my opinion, is that it is in an incredible neighborhood and on a fantastic lot, but the people who built the house cut a lot of corners.  I suppose it is to my advantage, though, because I was able to come in and make it my own!  Little by little, we are making changes and getting things done!  Some rooms we have even "done" more than once already, but that's a post all its own!  Okay...deep March, Kevin and I took the plunge and decided that we had enough cash to make some pretty big changes in the kitchen.  Of course we under estimated the cost of, well, everything, and convinced ourselves that it would be relatively inexpensive since we were doing all of the work ourselves.  I kept saying, "I don't want to do anything until we can do everything" and Kevin replied with, "Babe, I think we need to just start"... and we went back and forth like this for weeks, months, even.  So that March day, a Saturday afternoon, we decided that it was a good time to knock out the hallway that we desperately needed to be part of the kitchen.  It happened!

This is the kitchen before.  The only good thing about that annoying wall in the middle of the room is that it was the perfect place for a huge chalkboard.  And one other thing that we will get to in a bit.  Regardless, we were always frustrated at the size of the kitchen compared to the rest of the house and we NEVER used that hallway so we thought it would be best to knock down the wall and expand the kitchy!  
So we did it.  Yes, on a Saturday afternoon when we had 3 small children walking around and Kev and I both had to be back at work on Monday.  Yes, crazy.  I know.  Ugh.  I can hardly even believe that we lived like this for so long!  As I am typing this, Kevin says to me, "That was such a big project, Babe.  We just like busted it out..."  Yeah, we do that.  With everything.  Whatever.  We will sleep when we are dead.  For now, we will have a fab kitchen :)
So, after all the electical work was done, by KEVIN who thinks he's certified to do anything in life, he quickly put up new walls.  You are probably thinking that I am crazy for saying that things just went down then back up, the electrical work, then tile, etc.  Yes, that is how things go around here.  They just get done.  And it now seems like a big blur of time!

OH!!  See that nice little post in the middle of our kitchen?  Yes, that is why the builders had that lovely hallway there...because that post is weight bearing and there is a good chance the house could just cave in if it wasn't there.  SECRET:  We knocked it down, then Kevin happened to be doing some wiring in the attic and noticed a giant orange-red sticker stating the potential danger.  We then decided that it was probably a good idea to put the post back up.  Kevin fretted over it for many days.  I was pretty excited because I knew exactly what I wanted that post to look like when the project was finished!  And I didn't want my new kitchen to be ruined by a falling ceiling.  Or for any of my children to be injured :)
Getting all of that dreadful ceramic tile out of our house was a mojor pain.  Getting the sticky tar paper that was under the nasty tile off the concrete was an even bigger pain.  GROSS!!!  I don't even want to think about it!  It seems like we worked on this endlessly for days and days and days.  Oh wait, we definitely did do that!

Here's Superman just starting to lay the tile in the foyer.  It was a pain in the butt!  I am not really the puzzle kind of girl.  I cannot measure things, and now I know that I definitely cannot follow a pattern to lay tile!  If you look in my google history from this time, there's a good chance you'll see searches for divorce attorneys ...just kidding...kind of.  It was hard!!!

Here is all of the foyer's tile laid but not grouted.  Yes, it was a painful experience, but SO worth it!!!

This whole remodel was completed in 4 weeks.  I would say that's pretty quick for having 3 small kiddos in the house, LIVING in the house, and both working full time jobs all at the same time.  I will have to do another post on the big reveal!  I am too exhausted from looking at all of these pictures right now :)

The Last Watson Wedding

I cannot believe that summer is almost over!  It seems like we have done so much and so little all at the same time!  Here's a quick rundown:  When school got out, I had three weeks to do whatever I wanted to do with the girls before my 3 week stint of summer school.  Well, I have never taught summer school before, so I spent those three weeks stressing about the next three weeks!  Stupid, huh?

WAIT!  I need to backtrack a bit...the day school got out, Kevin and I made our way to the airport to fly to Idaho for Jane's (Kevin's sister) wedding.  It was a very short trip because and we didn't take the girls because we knew we would be really busy as the photographers/decorators/planners.  When we first arrived, we were stressed out to the max because our luggage was stuck in San Francisco and wouldn't arrive until the next day.  I felt gross!  I was at the Walmart in Twin Falls at like 2am buying contact lens solution and some mascara to at least get me through the next day {another reason to invest in Lasik eye surgery, I suppose}.  SO, the following day, after spending most of it in town at Michael's, TJ Maxx, getting Jane a pedi, etc., our luggage finally arrived!  Yay!  Oh wait, it was only one of our bags...the poor little man had to drive all the way back to Boise to grab our other bag and then turn right around and bring it to us in Twin.  SAD DAY!  The day actually went by really fast because we were so busy.  We even bypassed lunch at one of Kevin's family's favorite restaurants to work on flowers and get the backyard all ready for the next day!

The day of the wedding was super fun!  Jane is the last of the Watson siblings to be married and also †he only daughter to ever be married, so the whole wedding planning thing was just super foreign to my mother in law.  I, willingly, took on the role of "wedding planner" and I am so happy to have been involved in that way!!!  Jane and Josh are officially the least stressful couple we have ever worked with for pictures and it was incredible! We went to so many cool locations out in the country and got some amazing shots of them.  If you or someone you love is getting married, well, ever, please encourage them to have their photos taken before the ceremony.  I promise the pictures will be one thousand percent better!!  AND you'll thank me later :) Here are a few of my favorites:

This is what the backyard looked like!  It was absolutely beautiful, whimsical, and so rustic!  The Quiltbarn, where Kevin's mom works, has this amazing basement full of old crates, doors, window frames, etc. They're lucky I flew there because they may have not been retruned if I had Kevin's truck to steal them!  Isn't that ivy coming out of an old milk pail just perfect?  LOVE!
Some awesome train tracks just outside of Kimberly, ID (Kevin's home town)
Some of my very favorite pictures to take!  It is so wonderful to document these special details...I actually think Kevin took this one :)
LOVE the detail in the wood of the tracks. So rustic and perfect.
We couldn't pass up this red barn!
It was the most perfect day for these two!
SUPER Photoshopped but I still love it!
This is just so special because Jane has an extreme love for Corvettes and Josh's grandparents just happen to own one!  She even has a Corvette tattoo on her ankle...we should have included that!  Darn!

When the day was over, Jane and Josh were both so happy!  They were endlessly grateful for everything the family was able to pull together for them!  All of the Watson siblings participated in the ceremony in some way and it really was an unforgettable day for Jane!  I am sure mom and dad Watson are thrilled to have married off their last child and they are officially empty nesters now!  

We were so sad to leave Idaho but happy to be back to our crazy little ladies at home.  AND we get to go back next week and take the whole family with us this time!  I can't wait!