Monday, April 23, 2012

A facelift for the kitchen

Ever since we moved into this house we (I think me more than Bryce) had planned to refinish the wood floors --which needed to be done very badly the past few years-- and change the color to something more our style. Bryce was in the middle of getting his master's degree so we decided to wait till he was done before undertaking such a big project. He has now been graduated for almost 4 years and with lots of convincing on MY part... he conceided to finally taking the plunge and getting it done. Well... since the cabinets and railing matches the floor, and I wanted the floor a darker color, those things needed to change too. I wanted white cabinets and with our white countertops that we already had... the countertops needed to change too. :) After lots of looking, price checking, stressing, etc... here is what we ended up having done: *Put in laminate countertops in the granite color that I loved *Installed a new stainless steel sink and faucet which I love cause it is way bigger and deeper than our other sink! *Painted the kitchen cabinets white, repainted the kitchen doors and kitchen trim *Added handles to the drawers and cabinets *Removed the wooden ballisters from the railing and replaced them with iron oil rubbed bronzed ballisters *Stained the railing darker *Sanded, stained and refinished the wood floors a darker color. Luckily we had most of the work done by professionals and that was such a blessing to turn those things over to them! I have to give a big shout out to our painter, Mike Stevens, who did an absolutely AMAZING job on the railing, cabinets, doors and trim!!! He was also a HUGE lifesaver when the copper pipe that feeds water to the fridge decided to crack and leak all over in the basement in the middle of this project. He stopped what he was working on and came down to help me get it stopped and guided me on what to do to start drying everything out. (Of course Bryce was out of town when this all went down.) I will have to do lots more thanks at the end of this post cause I wouldn't have survived it without lots of support! :) Anyway- on to the pictures!
Before: Ignore the mess-- I can't seem to find the picture I took where it was actually all cleaned up.  And those are little paint cards on the kitchen cabinets from
 me trying to decide on which "white" I liked.

I am SO happy it is all finished! I love the way it looks and am dying to go find some sweet rugs and a few other colorful accessories to add into my new look! It has been one insane month and a half but we survived thanks to lots of great friends and family assisting me along the way. Big hugs are owed to Bryce for the projects he did himself and for all of the inconvenience it caused him when he didn't have one bit of interest in doing any of this. THANKS EVERYONE!!! Now to paint the kitchen stools red.... :) P.S. I have many more important posts to make-- like Mason's 2nd b-day and such but after fighting this website for the past hour and a half to do this simple post-- it is going to have to wait for another night.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A small toilet triumph!

Mason peed in the toilet for the first time today! Such a proud and happy moment! He likes to get on the toilet several times a day and half of the time I find him naked from the waist down cause he wants to get on but it is always AFTER he has done his business in his diaper. I am sure it was a fluke tonight that he went and I don't expect him potty trained overnight but we are taking steps in the right direction!

It is funny cause Bryce and I always joke that he will be potty trained before he talks. This might be true. Mason now has 4 words in his vocabulary (doubling that from the last week of 2 words) and about 10 different signs. He is my little "stealth mode" child.

Cross your fingers we will have more toilet triumphs and can get this kid out of diapers!!!

FYI- Mason is almost 22 months old.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Heartbroken and Grateful...

For all of my tears you would think that I had just lost my own mother and in a way I kindof felt like I did. Judy Dimond, aka... Matt & Michelle's mom, aka... Sis. Dimond was like my second mom. I spent practically every spare second I had in high school over at my best friend, Michelle Dimond's house. I had many chats with her mom at the kitchen table as we hung out or I waited for Michelle to finish getting ready for something. I was included in many family get-togethers, went up to their family ranch with them, attending church basketball games for the boys and giggling with the girls. Judy was always so welcoming, loving, funny and busy serving everyone around her, especially her family. She lived for her family and fought valiantly to stay with them as long as she could. She was a huge example of what it meant to be a loving mother and wife to me. I hope my home is filled with the same love that she filled hers with. It was a place that was always nice to be.

I can still remember just like yesterday one night that the group of boys that Michelle and I always hung out with (including Michelle's twin brother, Matt) thought it would be funny to scare the living daylights out of us girls by turning off the car's headlights and driving down Canyon Road in Cedar Hills towards Pleasant Grove. We were so scared, mad and totally shaken up by the experience and we wanted revenge. We were sitting at Dimond's kitchen table trying to come up with a plan (and this is at least 10 pm) when in walks Judy. We hushed our talking since we didn't want her to know that we were planning something mean against her own son and instead she had already caught wind of our situation and came in to HELP! I was blown away by her sense of humor. We ended up making some cookies with horrible ingredients in them and took them over to Jon Taylor's house where the guy's were hanging out. We had attached an apology note on the plate of cookies saying how sorry we were for yelling at them. They were pleased with our peace offering and immediatley dove right into the cookies. It took about 5 seconds for the shock and disgust to hit them as they realized they had been punked. Judy's just laughed as we told her the reactions of the boys. Never did Judy have a mean bone in her body but she did have a sense of humor.

Today as tributes were made and goodbye were said I can't help but think of all the angelic work that she did while she was here and what great things she must be doing in heaven. There isn't a life that she didn't come in contact with that wasn't deeply touched by Judy. She taught her kids well and they will continue on her legacy of faith and love. I know that she will be reunited with those that she had to so sadly leave behind this week and that does bring comfort. My heart still breaks and the tears flow as I think about all of the times that they will wish that she was still here with them as new grandbabies will be born, her last son will be married, birthdays will be celebrated and quiet moments of advice and hugs can't be given.

Sis. Dimond- thank you for making such a huge impact on my life, teaching me true happiness and letting me be a part of your family for so many years. I will miss your infectious smile, your contagious laugh that filled the room and your warm heart that enveloped everyone. You are truly an angel and I wished I would have told you sooner.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Putting things in perspective

As I whine about small inconveniences in my life I just have to take 30 seconds to log in and read the update on my sweet friend's family and I have no more complaints. I am actually embarrassed that I was even complaining in the first place cause not once have I ever heard Lisy or Tyler complain!

Lisy is the cute little mom of this amazingly strong little bunch. Lisy has always been such a positive example to me in my life. It has also been fun getting to know her husband, Tyler, a little bit more over the past year and a half that Lisy and I have had a chance to reconnect (thanks to Braxton and Matthew becoming instant best friends in kindergarten).

Anyway- if you need a reality check on how good your life really is-- take a moment to check out their blog. Just a warning- have tissues on hand.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Holidays!

I can't believe it is December 19th already! I swear we just had everyone over for Thanksgiving last week. As always things have been nuts around our house (or at least it feels that way for me.) I had a blast having everyone over here for Thanksgiving. It was my first time hosting Thanksgiving dinner and thanks to everyone's help, it turned out awesome and it wasn't stressful. We had just over 30 people and we partied from lunch till late at night. We couldn't stop there though so we had everyone back over again for leftover pie and a spaghetti dinner the next night. It is just too much fun getting together to leave it to just one day! :)

Our December started off with a bang as we had something every day that first week in December. We have done things just a little differently around our house this year. We were a little slow on getting all of our decorations out and didn't put up our Christmas tree until tonight. I didn't want to stress the whole month about having to keep Mason out of everything. We have had other decorations up for a few weeks but not the tree. We decorated it tonight with every ornament except the bulbs. (They resemble a ball too closely and I didn't want them thrown and shattered.) It was a fun time. I TOTALLY let go of control and the kids decorated the whole thing while I handed them ornaments. Nobody fought, argued or cried. It is definitely no "Festival of Trees" but it is to our kids. I guess the backwards ornaments and branches with 5 ornaments to a limb just give it it's own style and pizazz. I am trying hard to make sure that we have HAPPY holidays and not "perfect" holidays so I have had to back off a bit. I do miss having that creative feeling and satisfaction when I step back to see how beautiful things are transformed for the holidays but I figure in a few years from now I will get that chance to do some more of it again.

I am surprised at how much I have liked not having our tree up during the whole month. It has given us something to continue to look forward to doing and I think our kids haven't had the "gimmies" as much during this holiday. They are SOOOO excited for Christmas but rarely talk about what they want to receive. It has been more about what are we doing for others or fun activities we get to participate in. Landen has been the cutest this year. He can hardly stand it till Christmas gets here. He has been putting a sticker on his little calendar chart each day and at least 10 times a day he checks to see if another day has come and he missed putting a sticker on. He mixes up his numbers too so he will ask, "Is it the nine one day today?" instead of asking if it is the 19th today. He does know that Christmas Day is on the two-five and he is constantly telling us how many more days till it is two-five.

I am excited that we get to make treats tomorrow! Bryce will be done with his "Biggest Loser" competition that he is doing with the boys on his side of the family. They do their final weigh-in tomorrow morning and I can make caramel, English toffee, fudge, chex mix, etc... I hope the kids and I have fun doing it together. We will definitely enjoy eating it! Bryce's "diet" has been good for us and actually helped me lose the weight that has been bothering me for a while at my stomach. I didn't exercise at all but we have cut out a lot of sugar, snacking after dinner and a few other things. Hopefully we can continue to keep a few healthy lifestyle changes that will just keep us in good health.

I wish that I had pictures to post but I am still without a good camera. I have taken a few photos with Abbey's camera that I will have to add sometime-- maybe. Until then... I will just have to keep these good times in my memory bank and let them keep getting better and better as time goes by! :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween 2011

We have officially completed our marathon weekend of Halloween! It started Thursday with Landen's preschool party, Friday's family Halloween party at Karen's house, Saturday was full of parties for Abbey and we finished it all of with a grand finale for today. It started with the cute costume parade at the elementary school, then off to take care of a funeral luncheon for a sweet little old man in our neighborhood, dashed off to trick-or-treat at Lisa's office, visited Hannah Ormond and Joe, trick-or-treated the neighborhood (in absolutely fantastic weather!!!), dashed off to Uncle John's & Aunt Christina's, Grandma & Grandpa Bezzant's, the spook alley at "Grandma Walker's" and we finished off with a stop to Karen's. What a night! I am SO exausted!!! We had a blast and the kids came home with an enormous haul of candy! They can't stop talking about all of the fun they had. This was the first year I didn't make them sit down and eat a real dinner. They ate so much candy that they had no appetite. It was actually nice to not fight them to eat--just this once! This was also the first time that I let Braxton and Abbey run off through the neighborhood all by themselves. They did almost the entire thing before it got dark. They literally RAN from house to house enjoying the "big kid"freedom and the chocolate greed running through their veins. This holiday rivals Christmas in the eyes of my kids.
I wished we could have stopped and visited everyone we wanted. There just wasn't enough time and once I sat down in the car tonight- my energy hit a brick wall. It was game over for me! I think my high heeled boots that I have had ALL day didn't help that.
Such fun times! Thank you to everyone to put on such fun things. Karen threw an awesome party full of fabulous food, great pumpkin carving and a fantastic fishing pond!
I am now off to bed. I promise myself that I will do quick and easy posts so that I will actually post something so enjoy the one picture I uploaded from my phone for Halloween. :) It is of the kids with our good friend, Hannah Ormond. *Abbey is a black cat. *Braxton is a ninja (but he didn't like to wear the mask) *Landen was batman--as he slowly lost pieces of his costume all night. *Mason was a lion. Cute stuff and we didn't have to do makeup!! Yipee!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Hugs! Hugs! And MORE HUGS! Mason can't get enough hugs from me when I put him down for his nap or to bed for the night. He lays down, we get his two favorite blankets (one from each grandma) and then instantly his arms go straight up in the air with the sounds," Husss" coming out as he is begging for hugs. You can't just give him one or two hugs. Each time you hug and kiss him he instantly asks for more. His big smile and gorgeous blue eyes are a heartbreaker so of course I give him more and more hugs and kisses. WHY NOT?! When I finally don't think my back can handle bending over the railing and into the crib anymore- I promise Mason more hugs when he wakes up. He is good with that and out the door I go trying not to look back at the cute little guy laying there in the crib. Good times!