Friday, August 24, 2012

My porch, my sunglasses, my face

If you live in Arizona, you know that this week has been rather monsoon-y.

And if you've seen my cleaning calendar (I don't think you have...except for maybe like, one of you?), you know that I usually sweep my front porch every Monday.

Well, on Monday, I swept my front porch. Spic and span.

Monday night = monsoon. Tuesday, porch =

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

But then, Tuesday night = monsoon. So Wednesday, porch =

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Indeed, the weather swept my porch. Not perfectly, mind you, but who cares?

Moral of the story: don't do chores.

And so it happened that I told a story about my front the internet.

In other pointless news, the overcastness of this week has caused quite the conundrum in my life:

sunglasses or no sunglasses?

I put them on, and then I decide it's too dark, and take them off. 

Then my light-sensitive eyes are like, "Whoa! Weird light-reflecting-off-the-clouds stuff going on here. Sunglasses - stat." So I put them back on. 

I wish I was kidding when I tell you that this has happened several times per car trip this week.

Such an exciting life I lead, no?

And finally, for my birthday, my momma gave me some moneys to use for my first facial ever. I went today and I might be a little bit hooked.

The place I went to is called the Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics (SWINA). It's technically a school, but it was really so professional and wonderful that I had no idea. Plus, the fact that it's a school makes it a great deal! Their August special gets you their 1-hour signature facial (skin analysis, cleansing, exfoliation, mask + hand-foot-shoulder massage) for $25! Score!

Needless to say, I'm going back. If you go too, ask for Stephanie J. She was awesome.

Now that this commercial is over, back to your regularly scheduled program.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Female Brain

My husband is currently reading this book:


It's been interestingly beneficial in a lot of ways. I actually plan on reading it when he's done. Even though a lot of the stuff he tells me makes me say/think, "Well DUH."

Also, it results in him saying a lot of strange things to me.

The most recent gems?

"Oh, you should be at the height of your testosterone surge, then."

"It could be worse - at least you're not going through menopause."

"Lack of estrogen sucks."

And I'm like,


To answer him in kind, I'm actually reading this book:



But seriously, I'm reading it.

Dallin and I have always said we want to be proactive about our marriage. We want to really work to understand each other so that we can work together through our problems when they inevitably arise. I guess our current reading choices are just manifestations of that!

Although, I really think my testosterone levels are my own business and no one else's, thankyouverymuch.

Monday, August 20, 2012

One whole year

The wait is over, friends. Don't ask me why I've been sitting on this project for so long. Am I in denial that my baby is one? I guess it's possible.

1bae5969, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App


Oh, this girl.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Song for 25

I've kind of always wanted a theme song. Be honest - you have, too.

And when I heard this song - "Shake It Out" by Florence + The Machine - it pretty much spoke to me. I heard it for the first time a few weeks ago (I might be a smidgen behind the times in the music world; so sue me), and every time I've listened to it since, it's spoken to me all over again. I seriously just love it.

And well, with my birthday being yesterday (***side note: how cute is my husband with his sneaky birthday blog post?! I love him. Side note over***), and sort of coinciding with my discovery of this song, I decided that this shall be my theme song for my 26th year of life. So let it be written, so let it be done, henceforth and forever, with liberty and justice for all.

Give it a listen, friends:

(OH, bee-tee-dub, this link will take you to Spotify to listen to the song. If you don't have Spotify, get it. For reals. Free, legal, unlimited music streaming that you can use to make your own playlists and whatnot. Seriously. Get it.)

Florence + The Machine – Shake It Out

If you're holding out against Spotify (WHY?!), you can watch the music video here, if you're prepared to be a little freaked out by it. It's on the weird side. Ugh - music videos.

Okay, so now would you like to know why I'm making this my 25-year-old self's theme song? Well, it helps me remember:

-that I have to have to let go of regrets, past mistakes, old heartaches, grudges, and worries.

"And I've been a fool and I've been blind
I can never leave the past behind"

"I'm always dragging that horse around
Tonight I'm going to bury that horse in the ground"

-that holding on to those things hinders my ability to love others

"And I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I'm going to cut it out and then restart"

-that holding on to those things hinders my own happiness and progression

"And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off"

-that moving on can be hard, and that looking for happiness means risking being unhappy. But it's worth it. 

"And I'm ready to suffer and I'm ready to hope
It's a shot in the dark aimed right at my throat
Cause looking for heaven, found the devil in me
Looking for heaven, found the devil in me
Well what the hell - I'm gonna let it happen to me"

There are things in my life that I'm unhappy with. That's true for everyone, right? But you guys, I haven't been handling them right. I hold on to the bad stuff way too tightly. Too often, I think that everything has to be perfect for me to enjoy life, or for me to be happy. That's ridiculous, and it's going to stop now.

I won't stop learning from past lessons and mistakes, but I will let them go and allow myself to move on. I'll forgive and trust others. I'll open myself up more, even if it means risking getting hurt more. I'll realize that even though I'm not a perfect person (and never will be), and my life isn't perfect (and never will be), I can, and should, shake it off and be happy.

So that's my plan for the year. 25, baby!

(p.s. Excuse the use of the "h" word above. It's not a word that I use...ever, really...but it didn't seem right somehow to leave it out/change it.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy Birthday, Katie!

Hi everyone! Dallin here.

In honor of Katie's 25th birthday, I just wanted to share a few of the reasons that our family is thankful for her life:

She's the most selfless person we know
She's beautiful
She's a caring and devoted mother
She's brilliant & educated
She's cultured
She is determined to be successful
She's always aware of how others are feeling
She's forgiving
She's passionate and devoted
She is a good cook
She has a strong moral compass
She's a thinker
She's a great listener
She'll help with whatever you need help with
She values her family above all else
She's funny & witty
She's confident
She is full of gratitude
She has good design sense
She's stalwart
She's patient
She's full of faith
She's focused on what matters
She loves people.

Thanks for all you do for us, babe -- we are lucky to have you!

Dallin, Maddy and Charly

Monday, August 13, 2012

Fierce Cinnamon Flavored Chewy Candies

I've been on a HUGE Hot Tamales kick lately. No, I don't have a good excuse or explanation for it (read: not preggo, friends), but I've just been loving them. I kind of buy a box or two like, every time I go to the grocery store. EVERY TIME.

And well, I wasn't going to share this with you, because it's pretty darn embarrassing, but I can knock out one of these boxes in...well, a very short amount of time. Like, a one-sitting amount of time.

I'll just be sitting there, usually reading or checking out blogs or something, sucking down my Hot Tamales, and occasionally throwing four at a time to Maddy (she always asks for four - I don't get it, either), when all of the sudden I realize that the box is getting kind of light. I look inside and see this

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

and I'm like, "Really, Katie? THREE HOT TAMALES ARE LEFT? You just opened this box! You've got to stop eating the Hot Tamales, like NOW."

But then I'm like, "I can't stop eating them when there's three left. When am I ever going to eat just three Hot Tamales? I might as well just finish them."

So I do.

The funny thing is, this practice doesn't even make me sick. I believe that that is my body's way of telling me, "Don't sweat it. You need this."

So true, body. So true.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Two disclaimers before I write this post:

1) I love my girls. So much. If you haven't picked up on that, you should practice your reading comprehension skillz.

2) I have made a conscious decision to be a stay-at-home mom. I made it well before I was married. It was what I wanted to do with my life, and I married someone who supported me in that endeavor.

Now, those things being said, I must also tell you this: there have been times, especially recently, when I think thoughts like this:

"Is this really all I'm going to do with my life?"

"I'm a smart person. Am I wasting that by just staying home with my kids?"

"I could have really done something with my life. I used to want to be a doctor. What happened to that? I could have been a lawyer (remember how I took the LSAT?). I have a freaking master's degree that I'm not using. Is it worth 'throwing those things away' to stay home with my kids?"

Please know that, in my heart, I really know the answers to these questions. I know that being a stay at home mom is what I'm meant to do. I know I can be good at it. I know it brings true joy and fulfillment to any woman who commits herself to it and puts her whole heart into it.

I know those things, but sometimes it's hard to remember. Especially when I see all these examples of amazing women who are kicking grass and taking names in their careers. It's easy to think,

"Well, she gets paid for what she does. It must be important. SHE must be important."

"She is so much smarter than me. I mean, she has to be, if she has that job!"

"It must be so nice to go somewhere everyday, do something for yourself, and have a great answer when people ask what you do for a living."

Am I alone here? I can't be the only stay at home mom who sometimes feels that way.

But, you guys, I had an epiphany yesterday, and if you're still with me and willing to hang on for a bit longer, I'd like to share it with you.

In an effort to become more involved, and as a way to play a more active role in paying off my student loans, I'm taking on a lot of the billing responsibilities for our company (eventually all of them). It's something I can do from home, for a few hours a week, and it will free up the very valuable time of the person currently doing the billing. So it's basically a win-win-win. I've worked for Skyhook before, but always on an as-needed or temporary (e.g. until school starts or the baby comes) basis. This will be my first actual, consistent work, and I'm pretty excited about it.

So yesterday, I was doing some training with the girl who currently does this job, and it was going really well. I had been a little discouraged about all there was to learn, but she was extremely helpful and I was starting to really feel like I was catching on.

And then, there was a rare moment when all the windows on my computer screen were closed, and my desktop picture of Maddy was visible.

"Your girls are so cute," my trainer said. "They both have adorable cheeks!" (We're friends on Facebook, so she's seen both of them).

"I know," I responded. "They're seriously beautiful."

The conversation might have lasted longer, or that might have been it. I don't really remember. I do remember, though, that when it was over and we went back to talking about billing stuff, I felt a little disappointed.

It happened again, later, after a conversation which started by her asking me if I ever feel a little dismayed by the fact that I have TWO KIDS (the answer is yes, by the way). We talked about it for a minute, and after we moved on, I realized how excited I had been while we were talking about it. With the conversation over, it felt like I was coming down from a high.

It wasn't until I reflected on this, later, that I realized its significance. When we were talking about my kids, and about me being a mom, I felt


And what's more - I felt all these things naturally. I didn't have to convince myself that I should be feeling them, or think about how to respond to her questions to make me sound like I was feeling that way. Nothing was forced or artificial. I really did feel that way. Automatically.

I doubt this story means as much to you as it does to me, and that's okay. I just wanted to write this post to remind myself, and tell all of you, that I really, really enjoy being a mom, and staying home with my kids. I truly believe that it is what I was made to do. It is what I love. It is what I am passionate about. It is what I could talk your ear off about. My heart and mind get excited when I think, read, write, talk, or hear about it. 

And no, this doesn't mean that I'm quitting my new job, or depreciating other things I'm passionate about. It just means that the next time I'm feeling a little bit of doubt about what I do, I have an experience to look back on - one that will help me remember that in my natural, happy state, I am a mom. 

fc143fde, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App


Thursday, August 2, 2012

35 Things: July



Just kidding. I mean, I'm not kidding about the fact that I didn't write four blog posts in July, obviously; a quick glance at my sidebar will tell you that (as if you didn't know, you blog stalker, you). But I am kidding about the giving up part. Yes, I dropped the blogging ball during July. But by golly, I will persevere. Heck, maybe I'll get crazy and write FIVE blog posts in August just to make up for it!

Not buying it? You know me too well.

Anyway, I did do my other monthly goal of cleaning off my "clutter" desk twice a month, so hey, that counts for something, right?

I also did:

27. Potty train Madelyn. You guys. I think it's really done. Can I just say that I'm pretty proud? I'm pretty proud. Potty training is not.easy. But it's been a few WEEKS since her last accident, so I'm going to mark her as trained.

30. Read 32 books. Hm...apparently all I did this month was potty train and read. But I'm back on track, if you can believe it! All thanks to that lovable Percy Jackson and his fast and easy books. Thanks, Percy. This month, I read FIVE books:

Percy Jackson and the Olympians, numbers 2-4, by Rick Riordan. Yes, I read THREE of these books this month. They were all so much fun to read. I've got the final installment on hold at the library and you can bet I'm going to read it ASAP in August. Hey, if I'm going to read juvenile fiction, I might as well be proud of it, yeah? These books get a solid 4 stars. Maybe 4.5.

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, by Dale Carnegie. A book after my own heart. This book taught me some great things about how to tackle worry, which is something I struggle with. Hugely. The book presented some pretty good strategies, and told a lot of really interesting stories. It is one I think I could refer back to as needed. I will say that the writing got pretty repetitive after a while. 4 stars.

Heaven is Here, by Stephanie Nielson. I actually don't read Nie Nie's blog regularly, which I know might make some of you gasp or something. But anyway, I loved her book and was inspired by her story. It really just made me want to be a better, happier, more hopeful, more loving, more full-of-life person. And hey, how could you not enjoy a read like that? 5 stars.

As for August, I'm planning on doing my completely punctual month, learning all the rules of NCAA football (so I can be ready for game 1 on the 31st!), finishing the playroom, and at least getting started on freezer meals. Oh, and turning 25 or something. No big.