Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A fabulous night

Johnny and I are in New Hampshire right now on vacation.  What a beautiful place this is!!!  I just had to write about our dinner tonight because it was absolutely FABULOUS!
We were taken out by another couple from Johnny's company with a few other couples.  We went to this cute little restaurant right next to our amazing, gigantic, beautiful hotel, the Omni Mount Washington Hotel.

Our dinner started off with some wine.  I am not a big fan of wine, but I asked for some white just because it felt appropriate at a place like this.  We got to order some amazing meals from a menu that had things like Ox Tail Soup and Pickled Beef Tongue on the menu.  Yup, it was THAT fancy!  I ended up getting a pork chop served on warm apple sauce, a side of butternut squash, and some delicious sweet potato frittata.  It was absolutely amazing!

It felt really weird sitting at a table with people twice my age, drinking wine, and eating this fancy food. I felt like I was pretending to be a rich grown up!  Haha!

We had some wonderful conversations while eating our fancy food.  There was this man named Ron, and he told us some stories about raising his two children.  He shared with us some very good advice that I will be sure to follow.
First, he shared his christian faith with the whole table of people which I thought was bold of him.  Then he went on to give us all some advice.  He shared with us two tips that are sure to help us raise our children in the right way, because minutes before I had shared that some days I feel like I'm the best mom in the world, and other days I really don't know what I'm doing.

His first tip was this: pray with your children.  He shared that he started praying with his son every day before school when he was in high school.  This changed things drastically for his kid, because he started to do better on his tests and just better overall in school, and ended up graduating an A student!
His second tip was this: read the Word to your children.  He shared that when his daughter was in high school, she always had some sort of drama going on in her life.  She would come home and tell her dad all about it, and he would try and give her good advice.  But if you know a teenage girl, they don't want advice, they just want someone to listen to them vent!  So one day she came home from school and started talking about the latest stuff going on at school, and this guy Ron immediately said, "Honey, lets sit down and read the Bible and see what God says about this situation.".  So they sat down, searched topics that related to her situation in the concordance, and read the Bible.  He said this situation was so different than the other ones, because she was actually open to hearing what God wanted her to do.
Ron went on to share that its so important to follow these steps, because you always have to leave your children with something bigger than yourself...God.  He said that if you fall down alone, there will be no one to pick you back up.  But if you fall down with God, you are never alone and He will always pick you back up.  That is the most important thing that you can teach your children.  You may not know what you are doing some days, but as long as you put those two steps into practice, you will always have God to fall back on, who is bigger than yourself.

This was such an important conversation for me to listen to, because it encouraged me to put these two steps as my first priority.  You always wonder what you can do to be a better parent, what you are doing right, what you are doing wrong, and you just always feel like you should be doing more.  But this reminded me that I need to teach Sara about Jesus, and pray with her and for her, and read her the truth of the Bible, and the rest is just details.  As long as I am taking those steps, the rest is in God's hands.  That is the most important thing I will ever be able to teach her.

So anyways, I just had such a fabulous night eating fancy food and having amazing conversations with some really really great people, and I wanted to write about it so I wouldn't forget.  I am so thankful to be on this vacation, I am so thankful for my husband and daughter, and I am so thankful for my wonderful God.  I am so blessed.  This vacation in New Hampshire has been so amazing, and I just can't wait to look at all my pictures and make a shutterfly book with them, and tell my family all about it.  This is the kind of trip we were planning on taking later in our lives, but we are so happy that we got to experience it now.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Traeger, 18 months

We got to spend some time with our good friends Chelsea, Ryan and their little guy Traeger the past few days.  It was much needed since they moved to Pueblo a few months ago and we haven't got to hang out in a while.  I got the opportunity to take Traeger's 18 month pictures (even though he's really 19 months), which was awesome because we missed his 1 year pictures.  Anyways, we had so much fun with these guys, and I had a blast taking Traeger's pictures.  He was smiling all day long!  Here are a few....

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Gordon's - photo shoot

My good friend Trish asked me to take pictures of her girls.  I already got to take pictures of Kenadee last year when she was 2 years old.  This year Kenadee is 3, and her new little sister, Pieper, is 3 months old.  These three girls are sooo precious and I really enjoyed taking their pictures...not to mention they are GREAT models!  Here are a few of my favorites.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Why Weight?

This world tells us that we need to look a certain way.  Like we all need to fit into the same type of mold.  Tall, skinny, pretty.  Who decided that anyway?  I am surrounded with negative comments about appearance every day.  The comments might not be about me, but they still hurt every time I hear them.  Because I am a woman.  And because it makes me wonder, "Well, if thats wrong with her, then whats wrong with me?".  It seems that no matter how perfect a person may seem, someone will find something wrong with them.  "They need to get their teeth fixed", "They need to lose about 10 pounds", "She needs to get that mole removed", "She looks like a man", "Look how big her tummy is".  Do these comments make you feel good?!  Not me!  They hurt me, and make me hurt for my fellow sisters.

And why is it that when someone compliments you on how you look, they have to add, "have you lost weight?"  Does this mean that to look pretty I have to get skinnier?  Maybe not, but it seems to be the first thing anyone notices or cares about.

 God has created each one of us to look different.  We are not made from the same mold, so why are we all trying to fit into the same one?  Why do we look at someone and criticize their appearance?  Who are we to say these things?

Some of us have wide hips, some of us have big feet, some of us have huge ankles, some of us have larger noses, some of us are covered in freckles, some of us are abnormally short, some of us have weird hair lines, and yes, some of us are bigger than others.  So who cares?!  Thats the way God made us!  If you criticize someone because of their appearance, well then you are criticizing God's work of art.  Does it really make us feel better to do that?  To insult the Creators work?

I want to be different.  I want to be set apart.  I don't want to be scared of a number on the scale.  I see the way my body is made, and I see that it is different from every other person.  But that is not a reason to hide, it is a reason to rejoice.  I am beautiful.  I have what?!  I have curves...I am gonna own those curves!  I don't want to be ashamed of how God made me just because I am told that I don't fit a certain mold.  Most of all, I don't want to raise my daughter to believe she needs to look a certain way.  I want to teach her to love herself, and love others, and accept that everyone is different.  That is the way it should be.

Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes.  You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.
1 Peter 3:3-4

Our beauty will one day fade, and all the plastic surgery in the world will not be able to "fix" us.  We need to clothe ourselves with God's love, and His beauty, which is not seen on our outward appearance. It is seen in our heart.


Friday, August 12, 2011

DIY art project

I have been wanting to update our living room for a while now, but I wasn't sure what to do.  One of the main things I was wanting to do was get some new art work for above the couch.  I had a few ideas in my head but I was too picky and couldn't find anything that I loved.  One day we were shopping at Flatirons mall, and we walked into this really fancy store, and I saw exactly what I wanted.  It was like 3 wooden canvases with bird and branch silhouettes.  It was perfect!!!...but it was $600!  That was a little out of my price range...actually a lot.  So Johnny and I decided that we could make it ourselves.  So as I distracted the store lady, Johnny pulled out his phone and took a pic of the art (which I'm sure is not allowed in a fancy store like that!)  Here is the pic of the art from the store.

So off we went to Home Depot to get the supplies for our new project.  Here are the step by step instructions on how to make a beautiful, wooden canvas art project!

Step 1- Take your crippled husband to Home Depot to pick up some wood! Hehe :)  
You need: 
-rectangle piece of plywood, and get a Home Depot person to cut it into thirds for you
-3 1x2 pieces of wood (the long ones on Johnny's shoulder in the second pic)
-wood glue
-wood stain (whichever color you prefer)
-picture hangers
-black paint
-little paintbrushes
-wipe on poly
-sand paper 
Step 2- Measure out your 1x2's so that they act like a frame for the back of your plywood pieces. Cut 'em up.

Step 4- Check on your kid and make sure she's out of the way! If you have a kid, that is.
Step 5- Glue the frame pieces to the back of your plywood pieces and then nail them down.  (Make sure your plywood pieces fit together like a puzzle with the grain of the wood and everything.)
Frames are on!
Step 6- Sand those babies down!  You want them to be smooth and pretty.
Step 7- If you have more than one option for stains, try them out on the back of one of your canvases.  We chose the lighter one of the two because then the bird silhouettes would show up better.

Step 7- Wipe on the stain with an old cloth.  We did two coats just to get a richer color. Let it dry!
Step 8- Once its dry, use a pencil to draw your design.  I used the bird design, but we also saw some other cool designs like a world map, and a tree.  The options are endless!
Step 9- Start painting those birdies!  This was my favorite part.  Then, let it dry.
Step 10- Now comes the fun part...NOT!  Once the black paint is dry, use some ultra fine grit sand paper and go over each canvas very lightly, just smoothing some of the little bumps.  Once thats done, wipe on some poly with a cloth.  Let it dry.
Now treat this step like lasagna...keep layering it on!  I think we probably did around 8 coats total.
Step 11- Hang those beauties up!  It might be a little challenging, because in our case the Home Depot guy didn't cut each piece exactly the same it just takes a little extra measuring, but no big deal. Its worth it, look at that art! Woo!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Our backyard in progress...

So this is our backyard.  This is what we had to look at every time we went outside.  Our backyard isn't in the best shape.  The people who owned our house before us tried to "flip" it.  They did a great job inside, but they took every short cut imaginable outside.  Our grass is all weeds, our trees have all died because they weren't planted right, we have big random patches of mulch, and we have to look at our neighbors crap every day.

Our back neighbors confessed to us that they are craigslist junkies.  Not the kind who find good deals on stuff...they are the kind that find free crap and put it in their backyard.  They have a home made shed, a free hot tub, an above ground pool, a free deck for the above ground pool, a trampoline, and lots lots more.  And it just keeps piling up!

This year we decided to finally build a fence in the back of our yard so can get a little privacy and so that we don't have to look at the neighbors white trash back yard anymore!  Actually, our neighbor, John, confessed that he once saw me in my underwear letting the dog out one day.  Ahhhh!!!!!!

So here are some pics of the process of building our new fence!

I was the expert at keeping the posts level :)  But just so you know, Johnny dug those holes.  Actually, a machine dug those holes, but Johnny watched it dig. Hehe

Once again, me keeping things level.

I tell ya, it feels good to use a drill!  

Pops showing me how its done.

Here's the fence building team.  I am pretty proud of us!  We worked through some crazy heat!

And slowly the neighbors trash is covered up by our beautiful fence :)

Cooling off

At one point we noticed that the fence kept getting higher and higher, so we took out the level and realized that we made a mistake!  So we took a bunch of boards off and started over and everything worked out.

Johnny got to come and get his hands dirty too.

Then Johnny took my wonderful drill away and I had to stand and watch. Boo!

And here goes the last board!  

I really wasn't expecting to be able to do as much as I did on this fence.  I thought that Johnny and my dad would take over, but Johnny ended up having to work most of the time, and with two bad hips there was only so much he could do.  So I got to help build my fence with my dad, and it was so much fun.  I realized after that I really like doing this kind of work!  I like being a handyman!..well, handy-woman.  Not to mention I got to hang out with my dad the whole time.  What an accomplishment to get to say that I built my own fence with my dad!

So here is the finished product.

(don't look at our brown grass)

Now our next may have noticed in the first picture, we have forms set up right behind our house to pour cement for our new patio!  Our neighbor said that if we built the fence, he would pour concrete and make us a new, big patio...for free!  Well, below is what he's done so far.  He's taking his time thats for sure.  But its ok!  We have a little patch to enjoy!

Stay tuned for more backyard progress!