Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"I'm melting! I'm melting!" screeched the Wicked Witch of the West.

Ok, so I'm not the Wicked Witch (although my children would often disagree), but I am melting. Everyone in the Northwest is melting because of a record heat wave.

Yesterday and today both saw 109 degrees at my house.

I got in the car this afternoon and even the window buttons were too hot to touch!

The girls did the experiment every child does at one point or another... frying an egg on the sidewalk. They can't say if it worked or not... it was too hot to stay out and watch it.

We had the a/c on all night and it was a comfy 72 in here when we woke up. I turned it off until about 1pm or so, trying to keep the upcoming electricity bill from being too ginormous. I probably shouldn't have waiting that long, though; the a/c couldn't keep up and by 7 pm, it was over 80 in the house.

A/c is a fantastic invention, but it's far from perfect. If we have the first floor vents uncovered, then it's comfortable downstairs but unbearable upstairs. If we cover those vents to force all the cool air upstairs, it's better upstairs but worse downstairs. Ugh.

The problems of the privileged, right? *wry smile*

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Yippee! Yippee! Yippee! My baby girl is home!!!

It's been killing me not to post about this, but Hayley flew *by herself* to Michigan 10 days ago to visit Scott's parents! She had an absolute blast, but I missed her like crazy.

Today she is home, though!!

She looks taller and more mature, more self-confident, more grounded in herself.

I took this photo of her coming off the plane...

I know, I know. It's not a great photo, but you sure as heck can't miss that big, shining smile of hers! I wasn't too concerned about photo quality, more about getting that quick photo, then squeezing my girl!!!!

Here's a photo of the sisters together again! They're stuck like glue to each other now (and currently playing in the fort that Emma made in her room. She created it several days ago and refused to take it down until Hayley could come play in it. This has meant that Scott and I must crawl under blankets and around the bed, moving plastic tub lid doors, just to tuck Em in. LOL)So what did Hayley do for the 10 days??

Here's just a sample...
  • visited an elk ranch
  • mini golf and bumper cars
  • swam in the lake
  • learned to drive a boat
  • visited with her cousins
  • trekked to the lighthouse (twice)
  • made jewelry (beautiful bracelets for herself, Emma and me)
and the list goes on and on and on!

I'll scan some of her photos when I have a chance (yes, I know, I always say that!) so you can see her gorgeous smile.

We're just so glad she's home. Home just isn't the same without her!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

14 years and going strong!

This past Wednesday, Scott and I celebrated our 14th anniversary! (Holy cow, how'd we get to be so old??) It seems like just a few months ago we had the most romantic ceremony and most fun reception in the history of weddings!

The ceremony was outdoors, in a walled garden at the Quail Botanical Gardens outside of San Diego. The weather was ideal, we could see the ocean in the distance and our family and friends (about 80ish people) were there to help us rejoice. Nothing could have been more perfect.

Our reception was held across the street in a newly renovated hall. Our friends had decorated it with balloons and flowers from the ceremony -- it was so simple and beautiful and romantic. Nothing fancy, nothing expensive, just loved ones celebrating.

You have to understand that we had no money -- everything had to be as inexpensive as it could possibly be. But that was ok. I am Queen of Frugality, so we made it work. My bouquet was a dozen roses wound with ribbon and each of my bridesmaids carried a single rose. The buffet luncheon was pasta (can't get any more frugal than that -- unless it's a grocery store sub sandwich, that is!) The table centerpieces were a single wide-mouthed vase with a floating candle.

My dress (you're going to love this one!) was $300. Pretty cool, huh? But here's why... When I was studying in Scotland, I'd found this dress. It was the one and I knew it. Being that it was a Laura Ashley, I knew I could get it here in the States so I wrote down the info. When I returned, I called all over the country. There was only one dress left. Anywhere.

And it was a size 18.

I was a size 4.

I bought it anyway.

It took a while to find a seamstress who would actually fit the dress to my size, but a friend's grandma agreed to do it for about $100. In the end, it was absolutely perfect -- my dream dress.

The whole day was a fairy tale and I wish we could do it again. *Insert big sigh here*
But the best part about the wedding was that I married the most amazing man on earth and even though things haven't always been easy, we are closer and more in love now than ever before. God most definitely blessed us that day 14 years ago and every day since then.

Monday, July 20, 2009

It's not the make-up's fault

I'm a minimalist make-up wearer. A couple quick brushes of mineral wear powder foundation, two quick swipes of eyeliner per eye and a stroke of mascara on my top lashes only.

This past week, I was getting thoroughly disgusted with my eye make-up because I could not seem to get those annoying, ever present smudges off. Q-tips? Nope. Washcloth? Nope. Make-up remover? Not even.

In the bathroom at church yesterday, I caught a glance of myself in the mirror and could not believe that my make-up could be that smudged in the short time since I'd put it on.

I grabbed a paper towel and started wiping. Only when it didn't come off did I realize that the dark smudges weren't eyeliner.

They were the darkest tired eye circles I'd ever seen. And rubbing wasn't going to make them go away.

The total lack of sleep over the past couple weeks apparently took up residence in the bags under my eyes.

Lovely. Or actually, anything but.

Good thing this is a week of rest. I'll catch up on that sleep and look decent again in no time!

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, July 17, 2009

What's that old song?

"I fall to pieces...." That's all I know if it and it keeps rolling through my head because that's honestly the way I feel right now.

I'm so dang tired. I can't remember the last time I went to sleep at a decent hour. Last night it was 2am. And while I got almost 6 hours of sleep, I'm just not functioning on all cylinders anymore.

Work, VBS, parents here, taking my neighbor into Portland, putting together a VBS slide show, putting together my book proposal, getting all of us ready for our various vacations next week... it's just too much.

When my bro was here a few weeks ago, he introduced me to a Starbucks skinny mocha. That's what's saved my life this week. I wonder how you make those at home. I certainly am not going to pay $3 every single time I need help keeping my eyes open.

You know what I keep thinking about? Delegating. See, I'm so used to doing everything myself. Scott works crazy hours, so I manage house and family on my own a great deal of the time. I'm used to it and I don't mind all the responsibility (at least most of the time!) But I'm realizing that there is only so much time in the day and when I work 8 hours, juggle the kids, etc., there's just not enough time left for home mainantence. (Or Kate maintantence, for that matter. My roots are more than an inch long and my hair desperately needs a trim. With my icky hair and the huge purple bags under my eyes, I feel like a train wreck.)

Anyway, so I'm thinking about delegation and how backwards it all seems. I mean, I work for money to pay bills, but then because I'm working, I have to incur more bills since I need help doing all the things I no longer have to do. Or, as is actually happening, those things just aren't getting done.

My house is a sty. (I know several of you are now saying, "Yeah, right." I'm not exaggerating. If I had the energy and the time, I'd take photos. Or maybe I wouldn't. You just have to believe me.)

Just got a call from Scott. He picked the girls up from VBS today and was taking them to his office to swim. All their swim gear, though, is in my car so off I must go. I think I'll pick up my very favorite walnut chicken salad sandwich from Paradise Bakery on my way. Yum!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

No Guilt Allowed

It's an absolutely gorgeous day -- 85, sunny (yes, we do occasionally see the sun here in the NW!), a tiny breeze just barely tinkling the chimes.

And what are the girls and I doing?

Sitting inside.

It's pathetic, I know. I should have them, if not my working self, outside riding their bikes, playing at the park or playing in the sprinklers.

And why don't I? We're too tired.

The girls have both been so busy this summer, nary a chance to rest. And they've both been staying up way too late -- not a good combo with getting up early to go to VBS.

So I decided this morning that I'd let them stay inside this afternoon and watch tv. (Normally, tv time has to be earned, so this is a HUGE deal for them.)

And what's more... I decided not to feel guilty about it. The world won't end. Their spongy brains won't turn to mush in one afternoon. Their muscles won't atrophy in a few short hours. It's all good.

I got about 4.5 hours sleep last night and now that my parents have left, I need to catch up on all the work I haven't done and all the hours I'd like to get paid for. So to have the kids quiet while I test, transcribe, photoshop and design (and frequently pinch myself awake) is like the gift of sun in the NW. Rare, fleeting and much appreciated).

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Woke up at 7 am today...

Why is it that when I actually can sleep in, I wake up early wide awake and ready to start the day? But when I actually need to get up early? Haha. It's like trying to convince an Emma to eat a piece of squash. I-M-P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E!

So when I woke up happy and rested this morning, I rolled off my amazingly comfy Sleep Number mattress, tied on my robe and came downstairs to cuddle with my computer.

LOL. Sounds so sad, doesn't it?

But true, nonetheless. I figured I might as well get some work done on my book proposal while the house was quiet. I was tempted to not even try -- every parent knows that as soon as you try to do something you really need to focus on, everyone in the house suddenly needs you. I figured they'd all wake up as soon as I started actually typing.

Strangely, they didn't! Em didn't get up till 9 (unheard of for her!), Scott didn't get up till 10:30 (the poor exhausted man needed some serious sleep) and Hayley and Dad didn't come down till 11!

And what's more, Emma played quietly and worked in her workbook while I continued to write. So ended up working for 4 hours this morning!!! And I got another couple hours in this afternoon!

How totally cool is that?!

I'm starting to feel like the proposal is coming together. Watching it take shape is not only encouraging, but motivating as well! Well, except for the competition part. In a non-fiction book proposal, you have to give the agent/editor a rundown on your competition and explain what sets your work apart from theirs.

I always get anxious when I think about the competition. I do think my book has an edge and I definitely think my writing style is better. I'm not bragging, by the way, it's just true. I was reading a section to Scott from some "similar" book the other day. It was just so bad, we laughed. Surely, if writing like that gets published, mine will, too, right?

Argh, the misery of self-doubt.

At any rate, I'm in too deep to stop now. Keep those positive and encouraging thoughts and prayers comin', ok?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Deliciously Scott

I have to share with you all just what an incredible man I am married to. He continually stuns me with his constant generosity of spirit (and of chocolate, too, I might add.) LOL

Ok, so I just spent 10 minutes trying to write all the reasons why he's so amazing, but all my stories were becoming too convoluted. I'm giving you the bullet item version instead...
  • He cleaned up the dishes for me after dinner last night and then cleaned up all the camping cookware.
  • He took care of Emma when she threw up at 1:30 this morning, only waking me up to ask where the carpet cleaner was.
  • He let me sleep in this morning, taking care of Emma again and getting himself quietly off to work.
  • He dragged me away from the computer and incredibly boring book research a little while ago and tried to give me some ice cream.
  • He's always telling me how much he appreciates what I do for the family.
  • He's so supportive about my book.
  • He always, always, always calls on his way home and asks if I need anything.
  • He's recently been doing laundry. (Hooray!)
  • He never hangs up a phone call with me without saying I love you.
Oh, my list could go on and on, but you get the point. I'm one very blessed wife.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Another one of those darned lessons learned...

You know how you're supposed to throw out last year's sunscreen each summer and buy new?

Yeah, you might want to actually do that.

I didn't. Oh sure, I did buy fresh sunscreen (70 SPF even!) but it didn't make it into Hayley's bag today. So we used what she did bring -- last year's.

And now I have two very burnt, very lobstered daughters. The poor things are in pain.

So after four hours in the pool and a multi-town search for camping supplies, they collapsed onto the couch to watch The Princess Diaries for the hundredth time. But they begged beforehand for ice packs to ease their suffering.

Haha, I dug through the freezer and found the proverbial bag of frozen peas. Except for the fact that they were frozen fruit. Now as sit here typing away, each of them is enjoying the benefits of fruit. Not internally as I could wish, but I'll take the benefits of fruit where I can get them! LOL