Thursday, July 24, 2014

Welcome to the Jungle

I love our house. I mean I really LOVE my house. What I don't love as much is our yard. Well, the yard itself isn't horrible, but there are a few overgrown spots that I would like to clean up and LOTS of landscaping. Parts of our yard literally look like a forest.

So yea, it makes me sad sometimes to see all the overgrown parts because I feel overwhelmed. Well today I decided I would make a dent in our yard and DO something. That's right. Do or Do NOT!!! There is no try. ( We have been on a Star Wars kick in our house.) So earlier in the summer, before it got crazy hot, I mulched half of one side of our house. I know super impressive. I meant to mulch around the entire rest of the house in the days that followed but for some reason (laaaaaaaaaaaaazyness.) I never finished. So today I finished the side I started about two months ago. Here are some before and after shots (Don't you love before and afters!?):

Before: YUCK!!! Have I really let it look this bad since April?! Yes. I have. :(

After: Yes, the bush is still hideous, but with about half of it chopped off, it looks much better I think.

Before: I usually don't leave hoses laying around in my yard btw.


It looks sooooooooooo much better. The entire clean up took me about four hours with three trips to the green dump in between. Also, there is no way I could have done this without the unlimited amount of free mulch I can get at the green dump. Thank goodness for that because there is no way I would pay $7 for a bag that only covers three feet.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The View From My Front Porch

I will just say it. This has been a rough month. I am not sorry to see the month of June gone. Too many trials all at once. I kind of had a few meltdowns this month but I have been trying to turn to the Lord and rely on him more and I have really found comfort through that. I feel like the Ensign has been really great for me because the last two months have had a lot of information about dealing with trials. Probably the biggest thing I have taken away from this past month is that I need to be grateful despite whatever I am going through. Life could always be worse. Ike and I have been spending a lot of time on our front porch recently because the weather has been so perfect. The other day we were out there and as I was watching my kids play I had a very strong feeling of love and gratefulness for what is most important to me, my family.

Despite any trials I may be going through, I can always be grateful for my wonderful family and the joy they bring me.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Physically Burnt but Spiritually Brighter!

So I just got back from Girl's Camp on Saturday and I had an awesome time. I love the girls in my Branch and I had a blast spending the week with them. I am absolutely exhausted and have still not recovered but I am also still on the spiritual high from all the wonderful workshops and devotionals. It was amazing coming home to a VERY CLEAN house and two boys who noticeably missed their mom (Isn't it nice to be missed?) 

Backtracking just a little bit, Brady had a birthday on June 7th! I can't believe how big this kid is getting. On a sad note, I actually forgot it was his birthday (Don't judge. We seriously just back from our vacation and I was about to turn around and go to Girl's Camp.) and we had to celebrate it a day late. Also, the only present I got him was a spray bottle. (Again...don't judge. He seriously loves spray bottles.) Thankfully. Brady is only 2 so no permanent emotional damage was done and in the end he had a great belated birthday.

 Look at this chunky monkey.
 Brady wanted a football cake.
Ok so despite what Brady's face may be saying...I promise he really did love it. I know you are all thinking that I am a horrible parent...

My Grandma Judy made these adorable bath towels for the boys for their birthdays!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Coming Home!

I love road trips. Like I LOVE road trips. I love preparing for them, seeing family (which is 99.99% of the reason why we go on them) and I even love driving in the car for 15 hours. OK maybe I don't love the last one, but to be honest, I don't really mind it. It is time Ike and I are able to talk or I can read non-stop for as long as I want. Anyway, what I am trying to get at is that as much as I love a good road trip, I think I love that feeling of coming home at the end of it just as much. There is just something so nice about pulling into your own driveway at the end of a crazy long day and seeing that your house was not destroyed by a tornado. Love it.

Before we went on our vacation I finished a project that I am really proud of. I sewed my sister Katherine's prom dress. This was the first prom dress I have sewn from start to finish and I have to say that even I was impressed with how well it came out.

   She gave me a bunch of pictures of dresses she liked and  her measurements and after a few long weeks of sewing, altering, sewing and more altering. This was the finished product.

The big reason we went on this little (14 day) road trip was to go to Ike's sister Mary's wedding. It was beautiful!!!! Too bad the groom was out shown by the two most handsome men under 4 feet tall. I am not going to lie. My kids were ADORABLE in those little tuxes.

 Can you say 'stud-muffin'?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Little Hands and a Big Belly!

Today Brady and I made homemade Wheat Thins. I can honestly say that of all the snack food I have tried to make from scratch, these tasted the most like the actual snack cracker. Brady was a super good helper. He turned my pasta roller and ate any excess dough that was left around.

If you want to make them yourself, I used the recipe found here:

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Fear the Beard

Today was Fullerton's High School graduation and Ike and the boys got all dressed up for it. I couldn't help myself so I had to take a picture of them. Ike has been growing out his beard for the last few weeks and, if I do say so myself, it is looking pretty good!

On a side note, tomorrow is Mother's day and I just want to say how grateful I am for my own BEAUTIFUL AMAZING WONDERFUL MOTHER and how grateful I am to BE a mother.

Three cheers for moms!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Dream House

So I have been MIA for an embarrassingly long amount of time and I apologize.  In the meantime since my last post, Ike and I looked at a bunch of houses. Decided none of them were right and figured we would wait to buy. Then found a house. Not just a house, but THE house. Like....the house of my day dreams and beyond. So we bought it.

Ok it really wasn't like we just went up and bought it. It was weeks of working with our bank and getting grants and having inspections. It was weeks of me freaking out because we were about to take out a loan that we would be paying off for the next 30 years. It was stress with a capital S.

But now we have been in the house two weeks and I cannot believe I ever had second thoughts or dread when it came to buying this house. I love it so much I almost can't even put it into words (referring to the house as "my third child" comes close though).

So here she is.

So what I actually wanted to write about in this post but couldn't get to until I explained how we came to be at this house was the yard work I did today. In the Fullerton house, I never really did anything but occasionally mow the lawn. I just didn't feel like spending time and money on a house that wasn't mine. I know not every renter takes that attitude, and if you are one of those people who landscapes and buys mulch for a house you rent, more power to you. I, on the other hand and what you would call a cheapskate and couldn't bring myself to do it. This house on the other hand, we actually DO own so I don't mind getting a little sweaty to make it look nice.

So this chunk of the side yard had a nasty dead and leafy area between the walkway and the house and today I decided to clean it out! There were three dead bushes and a TON of leaves. These pictures were after about two hours of work.

So then...thanks to a monstrous pile of free mulch at the Green Dump ( a place where people dump leaves, grass clippings, etc.) I was able to put mulch down the entire side! I have always liked the look of mulch but I figured it would be too expensive to put it all the way around the house. I was so happy to see a giant pile of it at the dump!!!

SOOOOOO much nicer right??? And the best part? FREE!!! All it took was four and a half hours of mildly neglecting my kids while they ran around outside and I worked.