Thursday, July 23, 2015


This past summer, James and I have made an effort to go see places in Uintah County (where we live). Since the county is 3.5 times the size of Rhode Island but only has 30,000 people, that leaves a lot of empty space to explore. The southern 1/3 doesn't even have roads unless you can dirt roads that only 4-wheel drive can go on. :)

Last Friday, we went to a beautiful reservoir called Paradise, and it really was! It was quite hot when we left our house, but it was cool and breezy at the reservoir. I looked it up when we got home, and it's at 10,000 feet! That would explain my needing a jacket. We cooked foil dinners, and the kids played in the water. James also set up a hammock so we could relax while dinner was cooking. We spent several hours there, but it flew by.

This week has been routine. We did the library reading program today. I have finished the kids' papers, and I've actually read enough books myself to count for the adult program. The kids have so much fun every week.

I finished sewing together the front of another quilt and cut out the rest of the jeans. I also designed and put together the rows for the small (crib) quilt, bought a belt for the sewing machine, and bought ribbon for finishing the quilts. It's been fun to watch Netflix while working on them.

James got me hooked on another kind of adventure - an online RPG. As if I weren't geeky enough...

Everything is ready for the family to visit. They get here in an hour and a half or so from Salt Lake. The kids are so excited to see their aunt and uncles.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


As everyone probably saw on Facebook, I finished my work on the house. Everything went according to plan, which was amazing. My first "rest" was Monday night when I finished ripping out the carpet, sweeping, scraping all the staples and dirt off the floor, and priming the living room. I ran out of work by 9:30, so I watched a movie.

Tuesday, I painted 2 desks, Katie's doll house, James's dresser, and did touch up work on some stools while the guys were installing the carpet. After they left, I started putting everything back together.

My friend Cherissa (former VT) came to check in a couple of times. She helped me move the heavy furniture. It was too hard to move across the new carpet, but it was easy to drag across the old stuff since it was so thin! I got everything put back together by 1 a.m.

Wednesday, I hung up pictures and fixed the stupid trim that got messed up from my pulling tape off. Basically, I got a furniture marker and went to town. I also caught up on paperwork and cleaning from the past week, like scrubbing paint off the floor of the bathrooms and kitchen. Cherissa came to help with touchup paint and a few fine lines that needed finishing touches. I watched Tayson (her son) while she went to work out.

Thursday started off nice, but it wasn't as relaxing or stress-free as I'd hoped. I woke up with barely enough time to get to the temple, where I almost fell asleep. (I didn't sleep well the night before!) I came home and had lunch, then started working on a quilt for Katie (twin size, denim) until my sewing machine needle broke. I thought my family would be home soon enough (by dinner), so I just sat around and looked at Pinterest. Well, their arrival time kept getting later and later due to traffic and other unforeseen circumstances. I didn't see them until 9:00, which meant the kids had to go to bed and James had to leave for the temple cleaning as soon as we'd eaten our cold dinner. I was too tired to wait up for him (12:15 is when he gets home), so I just crashed.

The next few days were actually really hard. The kids were extremely grumpy and not at all pleasant. I think they must have missed a few hours of sleep during the week or something. By Sunday afternoon, they were doing much better.

James and I celebrated our anniversary with a fancy dinner at home, knowing the money would go a lot further than way. We had shrimp, salmon, sausage, croissants, and fancy cheese with gelato for dessert. It tasted good, but I almost threw up at dinner. I haven't eaten that much meat in a really long time, so it didn't settle well.

We've had a good, normal week with a library visit for the reading program, a little exploring at the county's other fish hatchery, and starting to watch Star Wars with the kids. James has been working hard on his other two classes and has them half done.

My next big project is working on a couple of jean quilts. I received a bunch of jeans from James's mom, a few from Cherissa, and already had a few, so I cut them up and realized I have enough to make 3 twin quilts and 1 crib size. I've designed the twin quilts and put Katie's completely together except for the back. I have to cut out the squares for the crib quilt, but I already have sheets to use for the backs. All I will need is the grosgrain ribbon and probably a new motor belt for the sewing machine. I think this will be my 3rd one, but the dang things keep wearing out, and I haven't ordered the same one twice. Oh well. The quilts should be about 40 hours of work altogether (10 hours per each). I'm excited to have enough for all of my kids and a few extras. The crib one will go in the Head reunion auction next year.

One more week until the family starts coming in. Though not everyone is coming, I will get to see half of the family, which is better than nothing. I'm especially excited for Pioneer Day since I missed out on the 4th.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Up Close

It is said that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. For us, that is literally true. We live next to the guy who has the nicest yard in the neighborhood. Our own yard doesn't look so bad from the house, but when we walk on top of it, we see all the brown spots and weeds it has.

Similarly, with painting, I see all the little mistakes I've made and areas I've missed. I have been up close and personal with my house, climbing to nooks and crannies that I don't normally care to see. (Back behind the toilet or on top of the fridge, anyone?)

The overall effect of painting my house is a good one. No one will notice the tiny things I see. And the backyard, viewed from the street, looks green and nice, not flawed at all unless it hasn't been mowed in a while.

To see the imperfections in others, we have to get up close. The only person I feel I know that well is my husband. Everyone else, I see from "over the fence". It's hard to remember that sometimes, but I've had a lot of time to think over the past 3 days (not counting today). In numbers:

3 days
49 hours of hard work
16 hours of sleep  - not enough!
4 audiobooks
36 hours of Spotify playlists covering music from the

Today was wonderful. I prepped meals for the next few days so I can grab them quickly. Church was relaxing and peaceful, and I took a nap afterward and talked to my families. 4 more days till I see my babies! I missed them a lot today. I've been too busy to be lonely before today.

I don't know how I had the energy to keep going after not getting lots of sleep and doing such long days (15/16/18 hours), but I'm sure I had help from God. Each morning of work, I have made sure to pray that I will be able to get things done, and I have. Everything is going perfectly. Fears I had beforehand were unfounded, such as worrying about running out of paint (we have extra), getting too high from the fumes (the AC helped circulate air), not being able to finish (I did and will!), and being too bored (the music and books took care of that).

My to-do list gets shorter each day this week, so by Thursday I should be able to have a nice, relaxing, normal, non-home-improvement day. Pictures coming soon!