Friday, June 29, 2012

abundant blessings

The last month or so has been so full that it's been hard to catch up and process everything that has gone on. My life has looked like this:
-Helping plan/decorate a baby shower
-.......then a bridal shower
-A trip to Eastern Oregon with friends (SO.MUCH.FUN.)
-Coming home to host a baby shower
-Watching 5 kids for a whole day
-A family of 6 coming to stay in our house while we were away
-Packing up and heading to the East Coast for a week

It may not seem like a lot but each event took a lot of preparation. I was in a constant mode of cleaning my house, packing and un-packing and trip & party planning. I am trying to slow down and count my blessings. This week the blessings have been so apparent to me that I had to write them down. I always love looking back and remembering these things. My humanness continues to allow me to forget all these great things, so having the ability to go back in my blog archive to do some re-reading is a blessing in itself . This weeks blessings (the list could be a hundred fold but i'll keep it to a minimum):
-playing in a co-ed softball league game (with a double header tonight)
-getting to sit in church with Justin and worship together
-having new faces in our Monday night Life Group
-multiple beach dates with Alissa, Libby & Jane, Mary-Hayden & Isabella and Katie
-walking/running with my family to the Farmer's Market and eating a whole large bag of kettle corn
-being able to drive 2 miles to my parent's house so my mom can watch the boys while I take a shower and vacuum out the car
-Boone and Sterling taking a simultaneous 3 hr nap
-Cake Boss on Netflix :)
-my sister watching my kiddos for me this morning so I could go to the dentist
-Old toys I found of my childhood in my parent's attic. It has been hrs of entertainment for my boys and I love that most of them are dated from 1987 to 1992.
-Being able to renew library books online. I have a good one checked out that I haven't started yet. Hoping I can get going on it before my renewals run out.
-Eating out with my family at Chevy's with the boys in their pj's.

This week also included things that didn't seem like blessings but totally were (may be far fetched to see the positive in these but I rather think this way!)
-stepping on a screw (the positive: I have feet and am up to date on my tetanus shot...phew!)
-getting a really bad sunburn on my back (the positive: the sun was out and I was at the beach - I'll take it!)
-having to have a crown done. 3 hrs in a dentist chair and a needle in my mouth - a whole lot of yuck (the positive: I have dental insurance and can receive dental care - totally take this for granted)
-having to discipline a 4 yr old constantly and survive many toddler tantrums (the positive: learning to cling to Jesus and die to self)

The best part of it all is the blessings to come. I am feeling overwhelmed by the amazing friends and family that I am surrounded by. In the next few days I get to:
-have lunch with friends at the Cheesecake factory and send off a friend to her new adventure to D.C.
-meet up with my friend Sarah from college and her precious twin boys! &
-a "meet in the middle" date with Kari! Seriously can't wait to see her and catch up. I'm still not sure why we haven't made neighbor status a possibility yet.
....I'll get on it.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

My coffee fix

I love coffee. A LOT. I really like to go out to coffee but the coffee budget isn't so big these days and scrounging for quarters around the house is a little ridiculous (but so worth it sometimes). So, I need to satisfy the want at home here and there. I used to just have coffee in the morning but it's becoming a sip throughout the day kind of thing. Caffeine after noon time used to keep me up into the night but not any more. I can drink it at night and not be affected. Oh no. Is this a bad sign? Here is my coffee combo as of late:
One Harvest Project - Guatemala Roast (I know it's sold at Forza but not sure where else) plus a little bit of Almond Joy and a little half and half. Yum. I can't get enough of it and currently have a cup in my hand! What's your coffee combo? 

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Jet Lag

Here is my last post on our trip. Can you tell I was scarred impacted by our travels? The way back from Boston was a workout. I started our 15 hr travel day with a lot of optimism. We started our travels with a 2 hr drive from CT back to MA to return our rental car where we would hop on a shuttle to take us to the airport. We were in a hurry. When we got to the rental car place we didn't fill up the tank like we were supposed to because we didn't know where to find a gas station and in Boston with massive traffic we were willing to pay the little extra for them to fill it. The lady told me they would charge us $9 PER GALLON. SAY WHAT?! I asked where the closest station was and we drove like a bat out of you know what to save what would have been a $100+  gas tank. We got back and unloaded all of our junk bags out of the car and come to find out one of our boys packed Trevyn's potato gun. Oh great, a gun in our luggage, the last thing we needed. (Sorry, Trevyn - we'll get that back to you in July). 

We got to the airport and that's where the real workout began. Keeping both boys near us while I tried to print tickets and Justin tried to check our bag. Not awesome yelling in the airport but whatever. Half of the East Coast thinks we're crazy, I know it! Well, our bag weighed 59 lbs. Once again, what was I thinking packing one big bag for four people on a week of vacation. I'm nuts. There we were again, packing out clothes and shoes into our carry ons....just to save the $30 charge of an overweight bag. We are on a budget folks! Seriously, thank the Lord for family lines through security. We would of waited in line for 30-40 minutes and that just wasn't going to happen. Word on the street is that they are going to take that line away. I'm gonna cry when it happens. We survived through security with a pair of my high heels constantly falling out of my overflowing carry-on. We got to our gate with 40 minutes to spare. Justin and I's strategy with kids is to let them play and get every last wiggle out before we get onto a cooped up airplane with little room to move. So, like usual we waited till every person was on flight and there was ten minutes remaining. We walked up to have our tickets scanned and something wasn't working out. The computer wasn't reading our tickets right with having a lap child in an emergency exit row (or something like that). The lady was stressed out moving us all around the airplane on her computer just to print out something that would scan. I literally ended up with a stack of airplane tickets in my hand with one of them having a completes strangers name on it. Whoops! We had no idea what was going on but I turned into a stress ball and kept telling Justin we called it too close this time. He let it roll off his shoulder and they just let us on the plane.

Once we were settled on the plane, we had 6 hrs to Portland where we entertained the boys every minute of the flight (let's also praise the Lord for lollipops) and Sterling fell asleep right as we landed and Boone was extremely over tired. Exiting that airplane could of been out of a movie. Justin grabbed the back-pack, blanket, pillow pets and a screaming Boone while I carried my purse and another carry on and fireman carried our 42 lb sleeping 4 year old off. He was practically dangling upside down continuing to sleep. Pretty sure people were laughing at the situation (or rolling their eyes). At some point to our next gate we had switched kids. The sweetest lady walked by me (feeling extremely sorry for my situation - I looked pathetic I'm sure) and grabbed all my bags and wheeled them to our gate while I carried our irrational screaming 1 1/2 yr old. We made it. We survived. All we had left in our travels was an hr flight to Seattle and a 45 minutes drive home. The boys both slept that flight as it was 2 in the morning East coast time. I'm still feeling a little scarred thinking about the travel home and I have myself convinced we aren't flying for another three years. It was a good learning experience and I have quite the list of "what not to bring" on our next flight. 

The next morning Boone woke up at 4am (7am to his little mind) so we spent the whole day in jammies making pancakes and playing. It was a much needed recovery day. Mad props to all of you moms who travel alone with little ones. I don't know how you do it.

This is the last picture of me smiling on this day on the shuttle to the airport. :)
Knocked out in the airport!
Back home!

It's been a week since being home and we are finally back to normal (besides the runny noses in this house). We are getting back into a routine and won't be heading out till the end of July - so very thankful for that. Cheers to the sunshine that showed it's face last week!

....and stay tuned for another room makeover and a giveaway!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

East Coast Travels: Queens, Manhattan & The Bronx, New York

While we were visiting our family in Connecticut we were slowly realizing we could see Long Island, NY from their beach and it dawned on us that we were much closer to NY than realized. My geography for the East Coast is pretty bad, actually embarrassing. I really thought New York was more North. All the states seemed stacked on one another over there. While going to NY we drove through a little piece of New Jersey and on our way back to Boston from Connecticut we drove through all of Rhode Island. That just doesn't happen over here on the West Coast! When my brother in-law Scott told us we were only 1 1/2 - 2 hrs from downtown Manhattan we had to go! Well, I had to go and Justin went along with my excitement of "I've never been to NEW YORK!" I had no idea what this state had to offer. I was pretty sure it would be like an overgrown Seattle but I was ridiculously wrong. New York should be it's own country. There is so much to do and see and there are over 18 million people in New York city alone (that's 6 times the amount of people in the whole state of Oregon). WOW. We were a little crazy to drive in downtown NYC but it was an experience we won't forget. Justin did awesome. We were covered in a sea of Taxi's. Here are some of the pictures I took from the car. Next time we visit we will Amtrak down and spend a day or two walking through the city. I can't believe we were so close to the Statue of Liberty and didn't get to see it! Ahhhh. Next time!

Driving through The Bronx:
An entrance to Grand Central Park with another yummy looking food stand: 
 I believe this is close to where the Twin Towers stood:
Some big building across the street:
Taxis, Taxis and some more Taxis:
Next trip: A stroll through Grand Central Park (isn't the scene from You've Got Mail where Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan meet up at the end at the bench in Grand Central Park?...if so, I want to find it), see the Statue of Liberty, actually go into Bloomingdale's, go to Brooklyn, and a lot more that I don't even know exists! Fun to say I've been to New York!

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

East Coast Travels: Old Saybrook, Connecticut

We were way overdue for a visit to Old Saybrook! We love this little town. It reminds me a lot of Steilacoom: small, quaint, along the water, beach decor, beautiful views and houses you can only dream of living in. I could probably move there and be happy as a clam. I have concluded that if there is a body of water nearby, I am perfectly fine with putting down our family roots there.

The boys were in heaven getting to play with their cousins and new toys and it was great getting to spend time with Heather and Scott. This is what we got to do during our four day visit:

1. Rides down the street to the beach in a golf cart and the gator for the big boys.
2. Wade in the Long Island Sound.
3. Walk down a beautiful pier and venture out on the rocks.
4. Look across the water and see Long Island, NY.
5. Eat lobster!
6. Celebrate Trevyn & Sterling's 3rd and 4th birthday together.
7. Attend Grace's pre-school singing performance and graduation.
8. Sit around a fire and make s'mores with cinnamon graham crackers (so good. never going back to plain ones now).
9. Drink endless amounts of good coffee every morning.
10. Drive down to New York - crazy. (a separate post on that soon).

Double trouble on the gator! They were cracking up and having a blast feeling so independent on their own little drive to the beach.
Celebration time! The boys were a little excited, can you tell?!

At Grace's pre-school...isn't she adorable?! Sterling asked if her could marry her and called her friend all week. Pretty cute.

Sterling hid his arms in his sweatshirt the day after we got back from seeing his cousins and said "Mom look! My arms are missing!" I asked him where they went missing and he quickly told me "they went missing at my friends house. No problem mom, we can just get back on the plane to go and get them." What a clever little man. I think it's safe to say they had a blast! It was definitely a blessing getting to live life with this family for four days and we can't wait to see them again in Oregon in late July!  Pin It

Saturday, June 16, 2012

East Coast Travels: Boston, Framingham & Nahant, Massachussettes

We are back and I have lots of thoughts from our travels. Here it goes:

1. Travelling with toddlers is not a small feat. We flew out of Seattle to Portland then to Boston. LONG day and who's idea was it to have a 6am flight??! Okay it was mine. It seemed like a good idea at the time. We were up at 3:30 in the AM. Yuck. The boys were happy though and said "YAY!" most of the drive to the airport. I thought they would of fallen asleep but they were a little too excited. They travelled in their jammies all day.
2. We flew Alaska and I highly recommend renting their "digee" player for 10 bucks if you are on a long flight. 30+ movies, cartoons, games, internet = totally worth your bucks.
3. We cleaned out all of our airline miles that we have been building up over the last 7 years. It was worth every one of them. A week long trip to the other side of the country for a family of four for under 700 bucks that included hotel and rental car costs is pretty amazing. The plane tickets alone were 600 a piece so I think we made out pretty good. Gotta stay on a budget! :)
3. And piggy backing off of that - sometimes trying to say a few dollars is not worth your sanity. We only checked one bag. A week of travel with four people all stuffed in one suitcase - I thought it was a good idea until it weigh 54 lbs and we sat there stuffing 4 lbs worth into our 3 carry-ons. Less carry-ons with kiddos is the way to go next time because our kids fell asleep and both needed to be carried. You should of seen me lugging Sterling over my shoulder (fireman carry style) with my purse and another bag. That was about 60 lbs to carry through the airport. Not a good idea. Pretty sure I was sweating and people looked at me like I was a crazy lady.
4. I packed WAY too many clothes. If you are in a good hotel or seeing family - pack light and do laundry. I wasn't sure what weather was going to be like and with attending a wedding I went a little overboard to have all options available to us. It was too much. You live, you learn. 
5. The East coast has some serious crazy driving going on. Last time we were there was 6 years ago and we didn't do our own driving. We rented a car this time (got a Jetta going through for $16 bucks a day - not bad!). Justin is an expert at getting up to speed and weaving through traffic now. I couldn't watch because my gasping and holding of the dashboard freaks him out. I think I win an award for awesome passenger this trip because I usually suck at it.
6. The boys got to meet their cousin Kian on this trip and I met one of my cousins, Alex for the first time. I think it's pretty neat to spend time with family. Something about sharing the same blood and last name is pretty awesome. My dad's side of the family is a hoot!
7. My sister found a great hotel that we all were able to get rooms at! When travelling with kids here are some things to look for in a hotel: a pool with all day open hours (and when they close to be afraid to ask if they could open - the worst they can say is "no". They let us swim beyond closing times. Pretty nice!) , continental breakfast with trays to take back to your room (totally stocked up on fruit and milk), a room that is somewhat divided to spread out for better sleeping and a fridge for our continental breakfast stock up! It was perfect.

That's it for now. Here are some pictures of our first 3 days of travelling in Massachussettes! More posts to follow with some other states!

My uncles (all my dad's brothers). Joey, Ed, Bob and my dad. They definitely look related!

Always attempting a family picture!

My cousins! Danielle (the bride) with sisters Emily and Lyndsy. Kind of crazy that the first time I met Danielle was at my own wedding 7 years ago. I am so pumped I got to attend hers! This was only my second time meeting Emily and Lyndsy. There are too many miles between these families! I wish I got to see all of the Muri's more often.
Great memories!!

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Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Baby Shower for Lexi(e)

Another baby shower came and went and it was absolutely lovely. I loved being able to host this shower especially because it was for a little girl! What a great excuse to bring in some girlyness into this testosterone filled home. Laura will be meeting her sweet Lexi(e) (they aren't sure how they are spelling her name yet) in a few weeks adding to their already sweet little boy, Levi. She received lots of fun and adorable gifts and we enjoyed the evening full of food, games and crafts!

We put together a head band making station so little Lexi(e) will be stylin' from the get go!

I printed off some tutorials on how to make felt flowers. I bought elastic and sequin elastic at JoAnne Fabrics along with lots of felt. I had no idea they had so many felt options - it came in animal prints and just about every color. The elastic, sequined headbands that are all lined up below came in a six pack at Ross for $2.50....much cheaper than buying the black sequined elastic from JoAnne's for 5.99 a yard! I found the pack after the fact...o'well! You live, you learn. I also put out some blank barrettes and bundles of flowers from the dollar store.

Food table that wasn't filled with all the food yet but you get the idea! :)

It was all so good! I had leftover buffalo chicken sliders yesterday for lunch and have BBQ chicken in the crock pot for dinner tonight.

Laura opening gifts....

Here are the headbands I made yesterday during the boys' nap since I didn't get around to it at the party!
I had no idea these were so quick and easy. I may have to keep making them for if you have a little girl coming your way you just may be getting a little headband collection. :) One more shower down, now I need to go and pack and clean this house for a big trip of ours coming up. This Spring/Summer is FLYING by! Someone make it stop! Pin It

Friday, June 1, 2012

Man Cave & Craft Room

Wow this room has come a long way but still has a longer way to go. This is the room in the house that haunts me in my organizing dreams. The paper work, memorabilia from younger days, craft supplies and more are a little overwhelming. I know we will get around to it eventually. This room used to be a bright yellow with a bright red fireplace. I painted it this pee green color and have been on the fence about it. Is it too late to change it up? I think I need to remind myself constantly that this is not our forever house. If I have painters remorse I need to either 1. get over it or 2. change it. Not sure what we are going to do yet. For now, it will stay green and that's okay. My hopes are to simplify the room and purge of at least half the crap crafts.

Here is a pretty new addition:

Why did I paint the ceiling as well? Well because they did. Sometime you just shouldn't follow suit. Another regret that I am trying to getting over. :) Downstairs was all concrete and nasty carpet.

We layed pergo because we got a super great deal on it and Justin could do it himself. Score and score.

And here it is 2 1/2 years later. I painted to fireplace white and we added a little mantle. The carpet is one of my parents' from Turkey and I found the chairs for $25 total at Goodwill.

We still need to do trim around the door frames and the baseboards and someday I would love to either stain or paint all of the furniture.

And here is my super scary craft corner. I need to get rid of half of this stuff and de-clutter. I hold on to's a problem. I'm going to label all of my bins and would like to put up cork board. I see a massive project coming on this summer!

I can barely look at this picture because of the mess but I think by posting it, it will give me some motivation. I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial day weekend. We just got back from a big trip to Eastern Oregon and are already packing up again for a trip to Boston and Connecticut....can't wait! More on all that later! Blessings!

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