Monday, August 27, 2007

digging in the dirt

Last week we finally got some sand for our kiddie pool sandbox.
We ran into a friend in Lowe's who said they could get us some sand for free.
The next afternoon, I looked outside, and there was sand in the sandbox.
Our friend had come and filled it up, in the middle of the afternoon, without us
being aware of it. And we were even home at the time.
They were pretty sneaky...

Nathan was so excited to play in the sand. He played for
2 and a half hours straight. It was hard to convince him
to take a break to eat...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Take it or leave it

How's the journal writing? I've been thinking about what my next challenge would be and I keep thinking about communication. For many of you, this may not be an issue, but in our family, we commonly go by "no news is good news." So for those of you who go several weeks without communicating to your family, this TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT is for you. My challenge is for you to call or at least e-mail one family member per week and more if you're ambitious! Let's communicate...


Part of one of my favorite trees in our yard has fallen. We woke up Sunday morning and it was down. Another part of the tree had fallen about a month or so earlier. We knew that it was just a matter of time before more of it would fall. Before we had a chance to take it down ourselves, Mother Nature did it for us. It was actually the storm from Tropical Storm Erin...

And we actually were lucky, because it fell in the perfect spot where no damage was done to our house or garden. It fell right in between. A blessing, but Alex did have alot of work to do to clear the branches and save a couple of the watermelons right by the garden fence.

You never know when life might end...the rest of it will have to be cut down as well. I'm sad to see the tree go.

Monday, August 13, 2007

"Running with Angels"

I've had some technical difficulties logging on and uploading images on my blog. I was trying to upload an image of the book, but I guess it's not going through. Anyway, for our last book club, we read a book called "Running with Angels," by Pamela Hansen. Has anyone read it? It's an amazing story of a woman who lost 100 lbs. and ran a marathon. It's an incredible story about discipline and determination and how she overcame her trials to accomplish her goal. It's very inspirational. In fact, it's inspired me to get in shape and perhaps even train for a marathon. We'll see how it goes...
I also discovered last night that I will get to hear Pamela Hansen speak in a couple months at a "Time-out for Women" in Denver. My mom and my sisters are having a girls weekend in October and going to this conference. I'm pretty excited.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Jared's room...

The baby room, 2 years ago...don't like the dark blue trim.

During...I was about to give up and go for the distressed look...

I lost count how many coats I used to

cover the blue woodwork, but I was getting quite distressed...

Eventually the blue was replaced with white.

And finally it all came together!

Sorry about the lighting. I didn't put the mini blinds back in yet.

I love the "river reed" green walls... and Jared. Hi Jared!

Isn't this train shelf cute?

After 3 weeks of painting, I've had it...

maybe I'll paint again in about 10 years...

Fortifying the walls

We have been "holding down the fort" while Alex has been gone. Since he was supposed to be away for 2 weeks, I thought we'd "fortify the walls" in Nathan's and Jared's room. We hadn't painted them yet since we moved in 2 years ago. I thought it was about time to get it done, and since Alex was gone, I wouldn't have to worry about fixing a real dinner, wouldn't feel guilty about spending nights working, etc. etc. Anyway, I didn't tell Alex my plans and didn't let him know what we were doing as I talked to him each day on the phone. It was supposed to be a surprise for him when he got home. I finished Nathan's room the first week he was gone. I finally finished Jared's room on Friday. The only problem was that Alex surprised me by coming home 3 days early! I was in the midst of painting Jared's room on Wednesday evening when I heard a knock on the window. I turned around to look and there was Alex, peeking in the window, with his arms up wondering what was going on! I was quite surprised and embarrassed. The room wasn't finished, I was a mess, and the house was a disaster. I wanted to have everything ready. Oh well...
Nevertheless, he was surprised, and so was I.

Room 2 years sister Alison was staying in the room.
Nathan was still in the baby room.

Room after...painted over the salmon-colored trim with white
and the walls "stratosphere" blue.
I made the curtains a few months ago. They were my
experimental curtains, since I hadn't done them before.
At $1/yard, I thought I'd give it a try.

Another view...

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

more "cute-cumbers"

We picked a truckload of cucumbers today!

Oh what do you do in the summertime... in the dirt, of course...

and watch too many videos...

and wear our cool shades!

summer crops

We got our 1st crops of the season:



and cucumber!

When Nathan opened the fridge to get a snack, Jared pulled out what he wanted as well. He pulled out yogurt and a cucumber. He climbed up on the couch and tried a bite. He didn't like it very much...

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Take it or leave it

"Take it or leave it" is going to be Annie's challenge, which means you can take the challenge or leave it, but what I'll challenge is something that I think you should TAKE. But it's up to you, and hopefully I will be able to take my own challenge. This week's "take it or leave it" is something I've found to be very rewarding- my challenge is for everyone to start or continue a journal, with at least a weekly entry. Write down, in particular, your feelings and thoughts- the daily activities are important too, but focus on any thoughts you had for the day or week, lessons learned, triumphs, challenges. I think you will learn a lot about yourself and leave a priceless gift for your posterity as well. And we are to be a record-keeping people. So, who's up to the challenge? Take it or leave it...

Saturday, August 4, 2007

7 years of marriage!

Today I am thinking of Alex. It is our 7 year anniversary...and we are apart. This is mostly for Alex (since I know he reads my blogspot, despite his dislike of it)...

We've made it 7 years! We were married in the Denver Colorado temple on August 4, 2000.

It has been a wonderful 7 years. We met back in the spring of 1997. Alex was doing a summer internship in my hometown. I had just finished high school and was living at home over the summer before starting college in the fall. We first met at church. I had just given a talk, and after the meeting Alex came and complimented me on my talk. I was impressed that a total stranger would do that. He was very friendly and knowing that I would be starting at OSU in the fall, he offered help if needed. My dad met Alex before I did, at work. He told me he met a summer intern that was already going to OSU and thought I should talk to him about OSU, ask any questions that I had before starting college. ("Yeah right Dad," I thought, "...I'm not going to call some college guy I don't even know and start asking him questions.")
Anyway, I thought Alex was extremely nice, but I thought he was a little goofy looking. I don't have a picture of him from then to show, but he had these kind-of big glasses. I definitely saw "potential" though...he was cute, a tall blue-eyed blond with a nice personality.
We only talked a few times at church that summer, the times when he wasn't off messing around with his buddies... ha-ha. Alex had fun that summer with his roommates, backpacking, road-tripping. (Found out about that after we were married.) So we didn't really pay attention to each other that first summer. My first Sunday at OSU was Alex's mission farewell talk. He took off to serve a mission for 2 years in Salt Lake City.
Meanwhile, I was having fun at college- wasn't thinking too much about Alex. Not that I was dating- I wasn't. I had my eye on a couple other guys... but I didn't date anyone seriously until Alex got home from his mission. My family probably thought I'd never get married. I did start writing Alex a little bit while he was on his mission. My brother was on a mission as well, and I know how much he appreciated getting mail. The spring of 1998 I sent Alex a letter and was surprised when he wrote me back. I wrote him about once a month and he wrote me about every 3 months... ha-ha.
The summer before Alex got home from his mission, I decided I was going to go on a mission. I started preparing, and then it came time to decide when I was going to leave. Since my 21st birthday (girls go on missions when they're 21) fell in the middle of the semester, I wasn't sure if I should stay and take the fall semester and leave in January or if I should just work until my birthday. My roommates, Jerushia and Cindy, convinced me that I should stay for the fall semester. I remember Jerushia telling me that Alex was coming home from his mission and I should wait and see if anything happened there...
So I did. And here is where the story (my perspective and Alex's) differs a little. I returned back to school on Saturday evening. As I was unloading my car, some guys from the church pulled up and started helping me carry some of my stuff into the apartment. Apparently Alex was one of the guys, but I didn't notice that it was him. Alex says that I blew him off, but I really didn't know it was him. It was dark... I will admit that I was paying more attention to one other guy.
Anyway, the next day, on the way to church, my roommates and I were talking about Alex, wondering what he looked like, what he was like now, does he even know who I am...and right then, we saw Alex walking. My roommates said, "Well, there he is now. Let's see if he wants a ride. Here's your chance Annie." There I was, riding in the back seat, and he climbed in the car and sat beside me. Alex didn't know it, but I was embarrassed because my roommates were already trying to hook us up. We all just grinned and tried to be cool. He looked good...better than I remembered.
We had him over for dinner that evening. I think Jerushia fixed dinner that night, and again by her encouragement, suggested that I call Alex and invite him over. (I needed help; I was pretty shy about guys. Thanks roommates for your help.) By Monday evening, after our ward family night, Alex asked me out. We went to Braum's for ice cream. That was brownie point #1- I love ice cream. As we talked, I felt like he really cared about what I had to say. I remembered how polite he was-brownie point #2. I was beaming by the time I got home. I sensed something special and even that early on, I knew I could marry this guy.
Okay, so this story is getting long...but, anyway. We started dating and broke up a couple of times. Alex had some doubts and things to work out (highschool girlfriend to leave behind...) before he realized what he wanted. In his mind, he finally realized that here was a cute girl that could carry a backpack! And by the end of the semester, we were engaged. We were married about 8 months later. It's all about being the right person, in the right place, at the right time. (It's all about TIMING Audrey, Alison, and Ashley...)
Actually, we made it look easy. I don't know how it all worked out so well and how I got so lucky to find such a great guy. We have had a great marriage so far. By the way, I have had my chances to carry a backpack. We went backpacking for our honeymoon. We climbed Mt. of the Holy Cross in Colorado. I probably won't do that again. And Blanca will not see my boots again...that peak kicked us off.
We started off in a little dinky yucky apartment, with roaches and other various annoyances. But that made us stronger. And it actually was a good move for Alex; I haven't complained (much) about our housing since. It has only gotten better.
We were blessed (after 2 years of struggle) with our first baby in January of 2004. Yeah Nathan! Our little gift from God... And Jared came along in May of 2006. We love our boys.
I love all my boys...I'm especially grateful for Alex. And here's some of the reasons why:
He loves me
He tells me I'm beautiful
He makes me smile
He's easy to talk to
He's polite (or used to be until I corrupted him)
He overlooks my weaknesses
He works hard and is a good provider (away providing for me now...ha-ha)
He loves the Lord
He's willing to serve
He's good-looking
He's a good father
We have the same long-term goals; we agree on finances, kids, and religion
That's a few of them.
Alex is my "haven of comfort," as in these lines: "As the flower of our love opens to its fullest, we grow closer and more appreciative of this love we have been given. We begin to find support within the circle of our love and to trust the souls of one another."
I love you Alex. Happy 7th anniversary!