Thursday, February 18, 2010

This, That, and The Other Thing

There's no real rhyme or reason to the title. That's just what came to mind. I'm also posting this now because I'm hungry for something that I don't have and am hoping that this will prove a good distraction.

So, a while ago I mentioned on Facebook that I was finally getting around to hanging curtains at our house. Last night it was suggested that I post pictures for the whole world to see. So, here we go. I am NOT, by really any standard or definition, a decorator and am most grateful for anyone with talent along those lines that help me in anyway. These curtains were made by our friend and decorating hero, Yvonne, in NH. She was, once upon a time, an interior decorator who took pity upon me when we were selling our house in Manchester. She took me shopping, tried to teach me some basic rules for decorating, and stayed up MANY nights sewing curtains for every room in our house. I'm not much of a drapes/curtain person, so they're all valences. And, I must admit, I would have loved to have our house look just like it did when we sold it for the whole 3 years we lived there. Some of the valences are made to exactly fit the windows in Manchester and I don't have windows here they fit, but the ones in the living room, kitchen, and bathroom do. I also have some that still aren't hung, but I'm working on it.

These were taken last night, because I thought the colors would be easier to see in controlled lighting. You'll see I was right if you get to the bottom.

Here's the living room. The painting between the windows was painted but Yvonne. She's a woman of many talents and very few of ours in the creativity department overlap. The walls were green when we bought the house. Luckily it still works with the furniture and curtains. I'm not really up to painting right now.

Here's the dining room. You can see Yvonne's painting better. My favorite, which you can't see, are the little red berries in the blue picture. The lamp has similar berries on it and the red chairs in the living room are the same color. Tied it all together! Also, the other painting was done by Greg's mom. I'm not sure when, but they've had it as long as I've known Greg. I like the fruit and it's a little reminder of her.

Kitchen. Yes, Yvonne, I know you hate the little magnet board, but we use it too much to take down. Also, funny story, my camera must still be set on New Hampshire time because these pictures have the next day's date on them, even though it was just after 10:00 when I took them.

Living room today. I include this only because you can see how sheer the fabric is, not because it's such a great picture.

This is the bathroom curtain. It's made out of the same fabric as the shower curtain, courtesy, again, of Yvonne. I'm such a sucker for plaid. Love it!

This one, too, had a hard time with the lighting. Oh well, I'll take others later and hopefully post better pictures at some point.

Ok, mission accomplished and I'm now late to get the boys. Still hungry for something I don't have, though. Oh well. I'll see if I can forget while I'm out of the house!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Winter at Aspen Grove-The Other Half

Yesterday being President's Day, our family headed up to Aspen Grove to participate in the annual Snowshoeing/Cross Country Skiing event they hold. Last year, we went snowshoeing, had a great time, and saw half of Aspen Grove in the winter as opposed to our usual summer remembrances. This year we thought we'd try cross country skiing as none of our kiddos had ever been before. The snow wasn't as deep as last year and one mom told me the skiing trails were more slick and thus "faster" than they've been in the past. I'm willing to try again pretty much only if we run the course in reverse to see if I'd like "slower" snow and skiing mostly uphill better. Most of us had a great time, though, and we got to see the other half of Aspen Grove in the winter. There are a bunch of pictures of cabins that you will not likely find interesting unless you were there with us the last time we went. You may not even find them interesting if you were there. Feel free to scroll right on by either way.

The cross ski trail leaves from in front of Beckham Lodge and follows the dirt roads by the fish pond, ropes course, arts and crafts building, and around the cabins. Spencer took off like a shot and loved it the most. He said he was a natural. I told him it was the Norwegian in him. He must have an extra dose in there somewhere.

I'd put in pictures of everyone skiing down, but they all look pretty much the same, just fewer people at the top. Greg took the camera and went down first. This one's Joseph. The small dark shape on the right at the top is Steven sitting on the side of what was Dan and Melissa's cabin the last time we were there for a reunion. I went last. All I will say is that I prefer walking down on a dirt road to skiing down on the snow. There's just this thing I have with not ever wanting to do anything to hurt my knees ever again. Don't look for me on a downhill slope unless my life depends on it- and even then we'd be talking some pretty serious danger before I'll voluntarily go.

This is Erica and Joseph's hand as they came up to the bridge over the stream by the ropes course. Notice that some members of the family felt they didn't need a coat. Erica took her's off part way into the course, but at least had a sweatshirt on underneath. Joseph took his off before we even started and was quite happy to be wearing just a t-shirt. I think Spencer did the same. Crazy kids!

Ok, that's it for the family, the rest are pretty much just pictures of the places we were a couple of years ago for those that would like to see the difference. Enjoy if you feel like it!

The road up.

The main lodge- check out those icicles! Some of them were solid ice several inches thick all the way to the ground. Obviously there aren't many kids up there to break them off!

I think this is cabin #22. I tried to get shots of each family's cabin, but some weren't accessible.

Steven in front of that counselor cabin right near our set.

No idea what numbers they are, but I remember that some of our family stayed in them. They weren't on the trail, though that doesn't seem to have stopped people from heading over there.


Bathrooms and laundry.


This is the side of #27. I thought the splitting snow gave a better idea of how deep it was.

Arts and crafts

The kids arts and crafts lodge thing. I can't remember what it's called.

Ropes course

Fish Pond
It looks like they take out the walls that make the dam and just let the stream run in the winter.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

At the End of the Day

My mental calendar has been taking me back 17 years. There's no good reason, it just is. 17 years ago Valentine's Day fell on Sunday and we were blessed with a President's Day vacation the following day. Greg and I were approaching our 6 month anniversary and still students. If I'm not mixing up my visits, my sister and a friend spent part of the weekend with us and we dropped them off at the airport so they could spend the weekend at home in AZ. We'd learned that Les Miserable would be coming to Salt Lake City and we wanted to see it. Tickets went on sale at 6:00 Monday morning. No sleeping in for us that holiday. Being the "savvy shoppers" we were, we decided to beat the crowds and get up at 5:00 to be at the head of the ticket line at Smiths. Boy, were we outsmarted! We arrived to a sea of people outside the store, some of whom had been there for the better part of the night. I had only heard of that for rock concerts, and never experienced it for myself. Afraid we wouldn't be able to get tickets, we took turns trying to get through to buy tickets over the phone. This was pre- ubiquitous internet and cell phones, so it meant using a pay phone when we could while waiting in line. We were successful, though. By 11:00 we had ended up with 2 sets of tickets- feast or famine, I guess! We eventually sold one set to some friends and I remember having a great time at the show- despite the "morning" sickness that was in full swing (all day) by the time the play actually arrived in town.

I'm not sure why that particular event has been on my mind lately. It really isn't something I've thought much about in the years since. Maybe it's because we're back in UT. Maybe it's the long weekend sparking a memory. It has been interesting to see where life has taken us since then. In some ways we've come full circle. In others, we're miles away down a straight road. Physically, yes, we're back in the same town. We aren't really the same people we were then, though. For one, our little family is now 7, not 2. Schooling is pretty much behind us and our children are edging quite close to that brink themselves. This year I'm planning to sleep in and spend some fun time with my family no where near a Smith's.

I've learned alot about myself and life in general in the last 17 years. Back then, arriving at the point where we'd have children old enough to go to college seemed a world and lifetime away. I somehow hadn't thought about what kind of life existed beyond that point. By then, surely we'd be expert parents, have all the answers, be done "growing up" and be living life on auto pilot. Don't ask me where I got any of those ideas. They seem pretty crazy from here.

Now, I find us approaching that vague point. I've learned alot, but haven't managed the things I'd imagined- no expert parenting, missing a bunch of answers, still have tons of "growing up" to do, and if there's an autopilot button for my life laying around, no one has told me where it is. I do know that we're nowhere near the end of this learning process and we still have more of life before than behind us. At least, I hate to think that my current state is my finished product. There are too many corners that need to be rounded and too much polishing to be done. It makes me wonder what the next 17, 34, and maybe even 68 years will bring and how many of my current preconceived notions will turn out to be as off the mark as my earlier ones. Does the learning slow down or speed up as you get older? As they sing in Les Mis- "At the end of the day, you're another day older..." Hopefully that means you're a little wiser, as well. Only time and experience can really add up to that.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Love One Another

"In the enriching of marriage, the big things are the little things."
James E. Faust

I might add that little saying applies to any relationship. A smile, a hug, a sincere "How are you today?" go farther in building and maintaining relationships than anything else. Validate that someone is important and you'll change their world. Thanks to all those who make a difference for me!

Happy Valentine's Day!