My Up"LIFT"ing Weekend

To celebrate the beginning of Fall break, I took off to Prescott with my girlfriends. A whole day without responsibilities and cool weather -- PERFECT! My girlfriend, Lisa, moved up there 3 years ago and we usually make a trek up there once a year -- ya know, because she only comes to see us the other 11 times of the year. Lisa's house is gorgeous and she always takes us shopping at the cutest stores and out to eat at the yummiest restaurants. This time lived up to all the others.

The premise of our trip is that we go up for scrapbooking. This is about how it turned out:
8 am Leave Michelle's house. Surprisingly on time.
8:10 Stop at Starbucks for Michelle and Beth
8:15 Stop at Basha's for ingredients to make a treat we never got around to making. Have debit card not work because Dustin forgot to switch money into checking account before house payment came due.
8:30 Run back to Michelle's house because she forgot her debit card
Drive to Prescott -- I have no idea what time we got there, but in some order we:
went to the scrapbook store, went out to lunch -- I had the yummiest brie/bacon/apple and turkey pannini -- shopped at antique stores, went to another scrapbook store, picked up Lisa's little sickie who was off camping with her dad and sisters, stopped for drinks. . .
5:30 Home to Lisa's -- maybe we should scrapbook??

We actually scrapbooked for the rest of the night. Like ROCKSTARS! I got 3 and a half pages done in the next 6 hours. We had to stop for yummy snacks for dinner -- bread and pesto, gingersnaps and pumpkin dip. . . Going to Lisa's is all about the food in case you're wondering why I'm even including these really boring details ;DThe "half" page is the page where I accidentally chopped Ellie's picture in half, so I need to order a new one of those and then journal, add a title. . .

I have not scrapbooked in a good 7 months and when we first got there I actually looked at all my stuff and said, "I'm giving up scrapbooking." I guess I was just out of the groove, but it was actually really nice to just scrap for hours. The only reason I was so productive at scrapbooking was because I brought my copy of LIFTED. I "lifted" 3 of my layouts for the night.

In case you're wondering what the heck LIFTED is -- it's a book that my girlfriend Michelle wrote on how to scraplift a layout and make it your own. I am in LOVE with it! You can read more/buy it here. I started off with a few lifts and got my juices flowing. Here's how it works:

I finally crawled into bed at about 2 am. Yesterday was just as crazy -- except I went to bed at 9-- so we've spent the whole morning just chilling at house. My one and only goal for the day: get to the gym.


Movin' to the Country

Gonna eat a lot of peaches. Peaches come in a can, they were put there by a . . .WOMAN! Named MADDY! Guess how I spent the day yesterday?? Canning peaches of course. PS It's a rule that you have to look really horrible when canning peaches. I SWEAR!

Karen and Rickie held my hand through the whole thing. We canned 64 pounds of peaches -- every time I looked at the pile of peaches it seemed like they would never end. I don't think I would enjoy doing them by myself, but when you've got your two buddies making you laugh and doing all the hard parts -- like reaching into the boiling vat of water to retrieve cans/peaches, it is actually a really fun way to spend the day. Even if there are 9 kids running loose in the house. It went by fast and was surprisingly calm in the house.

First you have to boil your peaches, then you skin them, then you cut them, then you smash them in the jars just the right way so they look pretty -- only if you're Rickie, then you make a syrup, then you pour the syrup in, then you wash the rims. somewhere in there you wash the bottles/lids, then you put them in the water bath for 30 minutes. . . then, then, then! Then at the end of the day, you thank your amazing friends for the fun afternoon and making canning seem so easy and collapse into bed. Thanks girls!!!



Would you believe me if I told you how boring we have been the last week? One day all I did was catch up on shows I had on DVR. Dustin was out of town, so I always like to pull one totally lazy day in there. That was out of control lazy, though, but I really needed it. I think trade off is totally worth. A few lazy days a year allow me to save my sanity for the other 360 days of the year. I know my kids appreciate it.

The most exciting thing: Saturday Dustin and I went out to dinner. And not some chain place -- we went to a real grown up restaurant where you actually get to eat and talk for hours. We usually don't give ourselves enough time to just relax and eat, instead we kind of rush from thing to thing we want to do while we're kidless. Instead we just ate for 2 hours.

We went to Coup des Tartes in Phoenix. It was so yummy and nice to get dressed up to go out. And it wasn't even our anniversary -- just a plain old Saturday night. During dinner I told Dusitn we needed to go to grown-up restaurants more often because it was so relaxing.

Of course after we paid the bill, we went to Barnes and Noble to spend more money on books, followed by paying our babysitter and then I realized why our date nights aren't always so extravagant.


Really Random Monday

1. Highlight of my weekend:
Playing Sardines in the Church. We had an "almost all Nighter" --which translates to "as late as James will stay up"-- for Enrichment this month and I had a blast. Karaoke, Do you Love Your Neighbor, Mafia. . . heck, I even loved the Human Knot. Sardines was by far the best part. The Church is so scary when it's all dark and you're looking for hiding people!! And there is nothing as fun as squeezing 15 people into a closet or into the Nursery lounge.

2. Nothing like talking politics and religion all at once
I totally want this shirt, but geez, I'd be like a walking billboard for the two topics you're supposed to stay away from at all costs. You know you all want one ;p Just wait till my lawn sign gets here.

3. Christmas
Oh yeah -- I think it can come. Today I am off to start my shopping and I've figured out what to do about my cards. Lunch with my hubbie and Christmas on my brain. . . HAPPY MONDAY!


Because you were wondering

I know you're all on the edge of your seats wondering who Chelsea Pace is and why I would assume everyone who reads my blog would care to see her, so here is the blog you've been waiting for. Also, if you want to see picture of Nicole -- this is your blog ;p
Chelsea was in our Ward when we first moved into this house. Rickie introduced us at a luncheon at her house and then we never spoke again. I'm not even being dramatic. . . well maybe slightly. Our Ward split 3 ways a month later and we were in different Wards. When we were reunited in the same Ward, she was called to the Primary Secretary and I was in RS. Of course she was released when. . . I was called to be Primary President. Sorry to disappoint if you were expecting a juicy story -- just a boring story about how we never ran into each other and had our own circle of friends.

Then Chelsea moved to Texas and got a blog. I had a blog! Of course we read each other's blogs and left witty comments. And then e-mailed deep dark family secrets back and forth -- I'm just trying to panic my family as they try and wonder what kind of secrets I might be telling myparentsaresocialists -- and exchange e-mail Christmas cards. Oh wait, I actually mailed mine, Chelsea and Cody went "green." And so we became friends. Plus she actually was friends with like our entire Ward so when she came back for a long visit, I thought we'd have a few Ward Chelsea-dates. She really is just so sweet and funny you can't help but love her!

Now to the photo commentary. This one is from our pop-in play date last week. I think there were 18 kids in and out of this house that day and I still haven't cleaned up my play room. It's pretty bad.Carter and Nate are a little over a month apart. I remember listening to Chelsea tell me about how much Carter talked when Nate would barely say 2 words. Hmmmm, maybe my bitterness is why I never spoke to her again ;D I just know if Carter and Cash had a little more time with Nate they could pirate the pink out of him. Boy Camp 2oo9 in TX! Sound good?

Last night was our Girls Night Out. I can't give you any details because what gets told at GNO, STAYS at GNO. At least it better. Holy cow, I laughed so hard. I know that sounds cliche, but I really cannot think of any other small details I could give you. Just know that I laughed. A lot. <--- most of you probably know this, but just a quick education break "a lot" are two words.
Please note that *some* people do not know how to take a "silly picture." I can't help but wonder what would happen if Lisa had been there for that picture. Obviously, awesome people do
Also, I swear my shirt was not low cut -- I don't know why the pictures make me look so risque. I had a shade shirt on underneath for heavens sake!
This picture captures the evening perfectlySo thanks for coming out with us so much on your trip Chelsea, and for giving us a great excuse to hang out!


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

1. The Good
I missed my little girl while she was gone, so it was good to have her home Sunday night. See her all sprawled out on the couch eating a cookie and reading a book? Like mother like daughter! That is definitely the epitome of a good time to me. Also on the good list -- the gingersnaps the Martin's brought by. At Church I was teasing Bobby and Kathy that they should make me some cookies "just because." yes, i am so lame, i will try and get anyone to make me cookies. if you are reading this blog wondering what kind of gift you could get me/way you could say thank you/ practical joke you could play on me -- make me cookies. Late Sunday night there's a knock at my door and I look through the peep hole to see a plate of cookies gliding back and forth in front of it. Of course Bobby made me work for it -- he held our front door shut for a good minute or two. I love funny little surprises like that.

2. The Bad
How can Halloween be almost here? I'm so unprepared for the approaching holiday/birthday rush. I know people have been teasing me about having my Christmas cards done, but the truth is: I HAVEN'T DONE A DARN THING! I'm tempted to just Costco them this year. Would that be so horrible? Take my poll and let me know! I won this cute Halloween sign when I subbed at Bunco last week. Of course Bonnie had the yummiest food and the cutest prizes. I really need another trip to Utah because last trip didn't leave any time for shopping. I still need to visit Iron Works/Rod Works?? and then Taipan. Holy cow! People always have the cutest stuff from there. So who's willing to put me up and do a lot of shopping with me?

And of course, I HAD to pick up some Halloween PJs for my Halloween lover. He keeps bringing me the catalogs with Halloween stuff on the cover, "Please read this to me Mommy?" He had to take the Oriental Trading one with him to the gym today. My boy loves pumpkins!

I am secretly excited to get out my orange bins -- Dustin told me I had to wait until October. Last year was the first year I decided to celebrate Halloween, after learning that our School District pretends like it doesn't exist, and I went a little crazy buying stuff, plus the after-Halloween sales. . . OK, maybe Halloween approaching isn't toooooo bad.

3. The Ugly

Allergies. I am hideous and I feel like a train wreck. My throat is sore, my nose is completely stuffed, and I feel like my head is full of cotton balls. My eyes are the WORST! Be prepared for the picture I'm about to post. You know how people tell you they are going to post a horrible picture of themselves without makeup/without their hair done/post baby/whatever and then the picture of them is actually GORGEOUS? Yeah, that's not going to happen here. Luckily I can just wear my sunglasses everywhere so no one can see my eyes. They are puffy and red, plus the crusty eyelashes each morning. I can't resist itching them either, so I've sot of given myself a blister under one eye. I've gotten so old, I can see the use in putting cucumbers to relieve the swelling.

So yeah, if you see me wearing sunglasses in some dimly lit store -- now you know why.



I'll admit I've been a horrible blogger lately. Our weekends have been pretty packed, so I spend the whole week trying to clean up/recover and never get around to blogging. I also never get around to taking pictures, so this may be pretty dull. So here's what we've done our two last weekends:

1. Murder Mystery dinner
I love any excuse to dress up, so what could be better than forcing your friends to dress up too? Karen found a Murder Mystery game at Tuesday Mornings for super cheap and since I have been moaning for years about how I want to do one, she sprung for the game. What a gal!!! She and her husband were also assigned the role of bartender and waitress for the evening and were such great sports when we made them serve us ;D After it was all said and done -- I got to be the Murderer, woo hoo -- we spent the next 3 hours playing one of my favorite games: Saboteur.

2. Lyndsi
We also got to keep our favorite babysitter for the whole weekend while her family was off camping. I was FORCED to make sure she had a good time so I took her out Saturday morning to see Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Deux and then out to lunch. SUCH a sacrifice. Is it lame that I was smiling and giddy the whole movie and I'm getting close to 30? Please tell me some one else out there watched it and liked it?

3. Mamma Mia sing-along
I feel lucky to have so many great girl friend's who will go along with my crazy outings. When my sister told me Mamma Mia sing-along was coming out in the theater, I called my other Mamma Mia obsessed girlfriend, Shauna, and the plan was hatched. We somehow talked 8 other firends into thinking this was a good idea and then forced them to sing loudly with us. Shauna was the one who made us all get up and dance and I'm so glad she did because it just wouldn't have been as fun if we hadn't. And of course we had to spend 2 hours to go out for dessert after wards!

I should also mention that after seeing two movies with scenes of Greece in them, that I really really want to go!

OH! And if anyone wants to go again -- I totally will!

4. Closet organizing
I do have to take a picture of this because my closet looks AWESOME! After 1.5 years of shoving stuff in our closet and never getting around to organizing it because Sadie was in there, I spent an entire day in there. I love the sens of relief that comes from knowing some tucked away part of your house is so perfect. I feel the same way when I do the linen closet, or the spice cupboard. Even the fridge or the pantry!

6 years of kids clothes had to go somewhere. The sad part -- Nate has 2 bins for his 4 years of life, and the girls have 6!

See how my sweaters are color coordinated?! See all my cute Christmas trees?! I've got some fun Halloween stuff out already. I love the next few months of Holidays!

5. Primary Activity
Our water activity was yesterday and we had a great turn out -- which is always a plus. We couldn't have pulled it off without a lot of help. I think our Ward must have the corner on creativity. Sorry to the rest of you people reading this blog who are not cool enough to be a member of our Ward, but we pretty much rock. ;D

6. Triathlon
About 3 days ago Dustin decided he was going to do the Anthem Triathlon. Proof that he is soo not a planner. Most people would want to train or something, but not Dustin. He did really well and he's planning on doing it again December, which will probably have nicer weather. We had already committed to the Lamb's housewarming party, so he didn't have a cheering section either. Maybe in December.

Dustin must have been on some sort of high because after his race he still had enough energy to go watch UFC with some friends and stay up until 4 am.

This is Dustin with some of his AWESOME swag. Notice the Similac label on the water bottle. Weird place to advertise for baby formula, but even worse: it's on a #7 plastic bottle. Aren't those the ones that leak cancer into your body?? Some other gems: a tooth brush, hair elastics and hammer gel.

7. The Lamb's Housewarming
Janel has worked miracles on the house, the food was yummy *greek* and the company was even better. Nate had a great time playing with all his boy buddies and Sadie had a great time eating dessert after dessert. Thanks for having us all over guys!!! It was so much fun and so nice to have the kids disappear upstairs.

Ellie decided she didn't want to go since there would only be boys there, so she ended up at Meredith's and we still haven't seen her today. Thanks for taking her Mer!!

**Just a heads up -- GNO this WEDNESDAY! It's for anyone and everyone. We're meeting at Brenda Janda's at 6:30!!!! Miss Chelsea Pace is in town.**


For posterity

I'm not especially "proud" of these moments, but for posterity's sake, I'd like to remember them.
Sadie trying to pick her nose while wearing the coveted pink tutu. That same night she showed us that she had mastered the "I refuse to eat dinner" pout.
Ellie did her hair for church again this week. No meetings before church for me this week, so I may just get her to church with some normal looking hair.
And last but not least -- the coup de grace -- Nate pretending to be asleep, as I tell Ellie about how he PEED ON HIS SISTER!!!

TRUE STORY! I was on the phone and the kids were playing outside when Nate comes inside and tells me he peed on Sadie. Nate thinks the word "underwear" is the funniest word in the whole word, so I figured it was just a joke. Then Sadie comes in the house and I can smell that she is poopy, so I go to pick her up and the back of the girl's shirt is WET! I look at it a little bit closer and discover that there are a few splotches back there. Suddenly Nate's conversation comes flooding back.

"NATE! Did you pee on your sister?"

AHHHHHHHHHH! Luckily Karen was on the other end of the line laughing hysterically, so I did not freak out, but instead almost started laughing myself. I think it was comical because ironically we had been having a conversation earlier about different odd places that kids pee and I had proudly exclaimed that Nate only peed in the toilet or on the rocks, but never in a cup or anything disgusting like that. I think peeing on your sister trumps any other horrific places and boy did I have a good sit down with Nate about peeing on people. I think it went something like this, "It's SO SO SO SO SOOOOO GROSS!" Maybe a few more "gross"s and a few more "so"s. Plus I think I asked him he would like it if I peed on him. Then a conversation about all the places it it appropriate to pee. Toilet? Yes. People? No.

And so, sweet sister -- I dare you to say my blog is boring now.



In case you hadn't heard -- CHELSEA PACE is in town. If you want to stop in and say hi, I'm having a little pop-in play date at my house on Thursday. Starting around 9ish and ending around lunchish. I know -- those times are sooo helpful!

Anyway, gotta run. More definite details later. M