Thursday, September 30, 2010

When You Let Your Yard go to Hell in a Handbasket

This yard was the product of 5 months of complete neglect. The last time a weed was pulled was April 24th. I know this because I pulled the weeds on a Saturday and then my water broke on the following Monday.

In Sam's defense, I had been putting him to work inside the home with a massive DIY project and since then, he has been training for a marathon. We honestly had gotten to a point with the weeds where we didn't know where to start. We took solace in the fact that ours wasn't the ugliest yard in the neighborhood--there is a xeriscape number down the road...

Enter Carey and crew. In one day (one day people!) five guys moved sprinklers, pulled all the weeds, ripped out a tree, laid down weed mat, moved plants and put down bark. They worked from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm that night. They made tacos for lunch in a microwave they plugged in outside. I kept the diet root beer flowing and they worked like dogs.

I know I have no dignity in posting these before and after photos.


Went to this:


Went to this:


Went to this:

And this:

Went to this:

We also had the front door painted by someone else:

How long do you give it until we are back to the before pictures?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Simple Pleasures Part Deux

Here are a few more things I'm loving right now. (I'm easy to please!)

1. An on ramp to the freeway just opened minutes from my home. This is HUGE people! UDOT announced they were building it years ago and it is finally done. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face as I cruised onto I15 so easily.

2. Little boys in superhero costumes. Ryan loves his cousins and he is so lucky to have two that are his same age. This is my brother Rex's little boy:

3. Sobe beverages. I only buy the no-calorie ones because no one in their right mind would drink their calories. My favorite flavor is raspberry lemonade. It is actually not a life water one (with vitamins).

These babies went on sale at Smith's for 48 cents a piece and I cleaned 'em out. If the big one hits--I will be drinking Sobe. I justify it because I'm trying to limit my diet coke consumption. (I'm not giving it up, but trying to step down a level so to speak--the Sobe is my nicotine patch for Diet Coke.)

4. Halloween masks in the grocery store. I know you're confused. Let me explain. For years at Halloween time, I've been putting on scary masks and sneaking up on my unsuspecting kids in the cart. I love to watch them scream in horror. Then I take the mask off and laugh my guts out. I made Sammie take a picture of me. She was scared even though she knew it was me!

5. Leggings=as comfortable as sweats but stylish. My new staple. I can wear them with flats or boots. Getcha some.

6. Buster is finally getting his hair back. I think he is officially coming out of the ugly phase. This is cause for celebration. Someone get me a Sobe.

7. Gourmet Dinner Night with my girlfriends last night. There is nothing better than great food and girl talk. Last night was especially fun since the hostess' husband came out to kiss her goodnight in nothing but a pair of black "tighty whiteys." We all screamed. I wished I had my camera.

8. Glee. I've mentioned this show at least 8 times on my blog. If you're not watching this, you are seriously missing out. Sue Sylvester made me laugh 'til I cried this week. I'm so glad she won the Emmy. The Beast is brilliant too.

9. My new living room rug. It's from Target and I love it. Ignore the lack of accessories on the table. I am about to decorate for Halloween.

10. This one takes the cake. Star magazine (not as legit as Us and People but still....) and Reality Steve are reporting that Brad Womack is going to be the next bachelor. This is BIG! He was the Bachelor who didn't pick anyone last time he was on the show. Can you imagine the cajones it took to say no to both girls? I'll always remember him saying to Deanna, "I'm sorry, but I've got to say good-bye" in the hottest southern accent. I love that guy.

Update: I just read in Us magazine that Brad is the new bachelor. It is confirmed!!

I've got a lot of things annoying me right now too but I''ll save those for another post!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Serves 2--Sam and Brooke

Our latest food obsession is 7-layer Dip. At our house, it is called Mex-Tex dip. Sam and I are addicted to the stuff.

1 can refried beans
1 can Frito lay bean dip
2 medium very ripe avocados
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 to 1 full pkg taco seasoning
3 tomatoes cored and chopped
1 can chopped pitted black olives
chopped green chilis
grated Monterrey jack cheese

First Layer: Mix two cans of beans together and spread over bottom of pan.

Second Layer: Peel and pit avocados and mash with fork. Add salt and pepper to taste

Third Layer: Mix together mayo, sour cream and taco seasoning

Toppings (fourth through seventh layers) tomatoes, olives, green chilis and grated cheese. Refrigerate.

Dip tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Fleece of Many Colors

When I was dating Sam, he always wore this fleece jacket. We called it the "fleece of many colors." I used to borrow it and wear it to school when I was cold and it smelled like him. It was big and cozy and super ugly.

Here is the only picture I can find of him wearing it back in the day. We were at a rodeo in Sun Valley with my family (circa 1998). Those were good times:

Sam and my brother picked up beer bottles off the ground to hold in the picture. It seemed soooo funny at the time. Now, not so much.

About two years ago, the thing went missing. Sam accused me of giving it to the DI. I adamantly denied it. He never believed me. A few weeks ago, he was cleaning out the garage and guess what he found? Yep. It's back and no worse for wear. I haven't seen Sam wear it since, but he can't bring himself to throw it out. I can't bring myself to throw it out either because it reminds me of Sam when we were dating, and life was easy and we didn't have four kids and a mortgage...

Then I started thinking about all the clothes I can't seem to part with...the "skinny jeans" that aren't even in style anymore but they will always be THE standard of skinniness for me. My old work suits, because you just never know if Sam will get hit by a bus. My tan suede jacket that I bought at the Nordstrom sale in 2002 and used to get sooo many compliments on. Never mind the fact that I haven't worn any of these items in over 5 years, I'll probably never unload any of them.

What are you hanging onto in your closet for sentimental reasons?

ps. This Monday through Wednesday I'm attending a work retreat with Sam. I don't know exactly what we will be doing but Sam mentioned a spa day for the women and I stopped listening after that. I was on board. I do know there will be some nice dinners. I want to wear dressy white pants with a black top. Does the old school rule still apply about white pants after Labor Day? Be honest.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Unsolved Mysteries

Here are a few more things I will never understand (let's hope the crazies don't come out of the woodwork like they did with my maternity mysteries post!)

1. Boot camp at my gym--the trainers are pimping this thing like crazy. There is advertising all of my gym and all the workers are wearing camo to try to get people to sign up. This makes no sense to me. Working out is tough enough--who wants to drag tires across a field and have someone screaming in your face while you drop and give them 20 push-ups? I think I'll stick to my barbell class.

2. Huggies Denim diapers. Apparently, these are flying off the shelves. They are not really denim but they are made to look like it. What's the point? I am a Huggies snob but I would never splurge on cutesy diapers. Along the same lines, I force Ryan to wear Sammie's old princess pull-ups just to save money on buying a new pack of boy ones.

3. Dads who go berserk at kids' soccer games. I have a dear friend whose husband falls into this category and I'm not saying there is anything wrong with it, I just don't understand how these people have the energy to care that much. These kids are 5 and 6. I'm just lucky to get to the games with all four kids before half time and I'm too busy talking to friends to even notice what the score is.

4. Toe Shoes or whatever the heck they are called. Have you seen these? I saw a dude running in them and thought he was wearing socks. I also see people wearing them at the gym. Apparently they are sold out at REI across the country. People will buy anything. Feel free to comment and tell me how comfortable they are. I still would never wear them.

5. The Kardashians. I still have no idea how or why these girls are famous. Do they act? Are they rich? I honestly don't get it. Someone enlighten me.

6. My UPS guy's brilliant way to "hide" packages. He does this every time. Dude--you aren't fooling anyone. My mat is see-through.

7. Pool breaks--I know summer is over but why does just about every swimming pool have a pool break every hour and make all the kids get out for 10 minutes? I don't get it.

8. This child's penchant for nakedness. I constantly find him walking around completely naked after I've taken the time to get him dressed for the day. He looks at me and simply says, "I get naked."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Back to School

Here are some back to school pics of my kids. This is Luke's first day of second grade:

I broke down and blew the wad on the PBK Darth Vader backpack and lunch bag he had to have. I justified it because the poor kid has to wear a uniform every day and the backpack is all he's got:

Sammie's first day of Kindergarten. I shed no tears:

She is obsessed with her glittery pink Converse sneakers. She also refuses to wear the uniform shorts I bought her. Only skirts for this gal:

This year, I found a lady to embroider my kids' names on their backpacks:

Sammie insisted I put a picture of her doing a cartwheel on my blog:

Here are the two kids that are not going back to school much to my dismay:

I don't think he's getting enough to eat.... (Darling "Buster" onesie created by SewSara. Check out her creative blog and shop.)